The United States President Donald Trump has extended the freeze on the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas, a move that will hit thousands of Indian IT professionals working in US. The extension of the freeze is for three months, the President said, in a bid to protect American workers. He said while therapeutics and COVID-19 vaccines are recently available, their effect on the labour market and community health has not yet been fully realised.
The freeze on various categories of work visas was ordered by Trump through two proclamations on April 22 and June 22 last year.
Hours before the freeze was set to expire on December 31, Trump issued another proclamation on Thursday to extend it until March 30.
Indian IT Professionals To Be Impacted:
The decision will impact a large number of Indian IT professionals and several American and Indian companies who were issued H-1B visas by the US government for the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1.
They would now have to wait at least till the end of March before approaching the US diplomatic missions to get stamping. It would also impact a large number of Indian IT professionals who are seeking renewal of their H-1B visas.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.