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H-1B Visa Suspended till End of 2020: Here’s what it means

The US government has suspended H-1B visas till the end of this year. Though this action has created a lot of problem for Indian professionals who are one of the biggest beneficiaries the move has also been heavily criticised the world over.

The suspension of H-1B means NO company from the United States will be able to employ a foreign professional under the visa until the end of 2020.

But, before we understand the impact of this, what is the H-1B visa?

What is the H-1B visa?

H-1B Work Visa is required to work in the United States. The companies in the US use this visa to hire ‘highly skilled’ professionals by sponsoring them into America.

What does ‘highly skilled’ mean?

Highly skilled professional means a person either having enough experience in the field in discussion or having specialised knowledge and a bachelor’s degree in the field.

What benefits does a person get under H-1B Visa?

H-1B Visa enables a person to obtain a social security number, a driver’s license, and the freedom to own/rent a car and property. Apart from this, they can also open a bank account in the US.

How long does the visa last?

H-1B Visa is valid for 3 years. After which, it again has to be extended for another 3 years. However, if a person leaves the job, he has to leave the country with 60 days.

What is the H1-B visa cap?

The Government of the United States provides a fixed number of visas every year. This means only a certain number of persons are allowed to enter the US.

Besides, there are additional 20,000 visas for foreign workers who have received higher education from an American university.

What status does the family of an H-1B holder have?

H-1B Visa holder’s immediate family i.e. spouse and kids under 21 years of age can apply for H-4 visa. Under this, they can stay in the country but are not allowed to work (except for limited situations).

Who doesn’t need to file for H-1B visa to hire a foreign employee?

Universities and related nonprofit entities, government research organizations and nonprofit research organizations are not required to file for H-1B visa to hire a foreign employee.