US relaxes H-1B visa rules, allows visa holders to return for same jobs

US President Donald Trump

New Delhi (NVI): The US State Department has relaxed some rules for H-1B visas allowing visa holders to enter the US if they return to the same jobs in a similar position, which they had before the visa ban.

In the latest advisory, the state department has also allowed children and spouses of primary visa holders to travel with them.

The US departement has allowed some exemptions to President Donald Trump’s June 22 announcement where he had indicated that the entry of foreign and non-immigrant workers will be banned till the end of 2020.

The new relaxations allow H-1B and L-1 vias holders to go back to US for continued employment with the same employer.

“Travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification,” the state department advisory said.

This is the first set relaxations given by the US administration following June 22 proclamation signed by President Donald Trump, which suspended the entry into the country under H-1B and L-1 visa categories.

The State Department has said that it has decided to allow certain categories of workers and non-immigrant visa holders in “national interest”.

Furthermore, the US has also allowed travel by technical specialists, senior-level managers and other workers who hold H-1B visas, saying it is necessary to facilitate the “immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States”.

With the new changes, people employed in critical infrastructure sectors including healthcare and information technology, whose roles are important for their respective organisations to flourish are also allowed to get the visas.

The state department has issued five guidelines and the applicant must meet at least two of them to get a visa.

H1-B visa applications have been also been allowed for travel as a public health or healthcare professional, or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit (e.g. cancer or communicable disease research).