In June of last year, the Trump administration froze applications for many new work visas, along with new applications for green cards. Now, the Biden administration has ended that freeze. New applications can now be submitted.
The following visas were affected by the freeze:
- H-1B visas for highly skilled workers
- H-2B visas for seasonal, non-agricultural labor
- H-4 visas for dependents of primary H visa holders
- L-1 visas for intracompany transferees
- L-2 visas for dependents of primary L visa holders
- J-1 visas for cultural or educational exchange
- J-2 visas for dependents of primary J visa holders.
The purpose of the freeze, according to the Trump administration, was to protect American workers’ jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. The policy was controversial, and many business groups opposed it. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business lobbying group, and the National Association of Manufacturers filed suit after the freeze, claiming it would be detrimental to U.S. economic interests.
It appears that President Biden agrees with that assessment. In ending the freeze, Biden claimed that it had harmed the United States by preventing family members of citizens and green card holders from joining their families.
He also stated that the freeze had prevented eligible, qualified people from entering the U.S., “resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity … and to realize their dreams in the United States.”
Apply for your work visa right away
Now that the freeze has ended, people can apply for the affected visas again. It is important to act quickly and to work with an experienced immigration attorney. Your attorney can ensure that the petition and associated documents are filled out correctly and that any potential issues are addressed up front.
Contact Yew Immigration Law Group. We have years of experience helping people live and work in the U.S.