H-1B Rules Blocked: Your Perfect Opportunity to Apply for H-1B Visas!
Great news for all the H-1B applicants out there! On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jeffery White of Northern District of California blocked both Trump administration policies that tighten the H-1B program.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, especially for H-1B applicants. The Trump administration has released several executive orders targeting the H-1B program. The most damaging ones were proposed in October when the Department of Labor drastically raised the prevailing wages, and the Department of Homeland Security redefined many terms that are critical in determining H-1B applications.
These rules change the fates of many applicants who were initially qualified for the H-1B criteria. The Department of Labor’s order is incredibly impactful because it doubled the prevailing wages for many positions, welcoming only the small percentile of workers that make top salaries. Although these rules are stated to serve the purpose of promoting U.S. citizens’ employment, they could trigger effects that are opposite to this intention. Businesses will operate at higher costs, and universities will lose vast numbers of students.
Companies and universities have recognized the consequences of these rules. They attempted to block the rule by filing lawsuits against the two agencies that implemented them.
On December 1st, the Northern District Court of California made decisions on lawsuits against the Trump administration filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, universities including Stanford, and companies including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. As a result of the court’s ruling, the two rules, one of which took effect on October 8th and the other scheduled to take effect on December 7th, are no longer valid.
Judge Jeffery White pointed out that the Trump administration did not show enough evidence that proved that the pandemic made it necessary to implement the rules without previous notice. The judge also believes that the foreign workforce will, as they have in the past, bring valuable talents and contributions, which will be crucial to the recovery of the U.S. economy.
This ruling is a massive relief for those looking to apply for H-1B visas. The rise in prevailing wages would have made it nearly impossible for those that do not earn top-level salaries to be qualified for the visa — minimum salaries were increased by 200% for certain positions. Companies could also have borne immense financial burdens.
The policies would also have been catastrophic for third-party site workers and international students. Many third-party site workers would have been unable to request H-1B visas with three-year validity periods. Instead, their visas would be valid for only a one-year maximum. International students working at positions not closely related to their academic degrees would have faced big rejection chances.
Losing power within less than 50 days, the Trump administration does not have enough time to appeal, issue the rules, then implement them, immigration experts have said. For those who are seeking H-1B visas, you can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief.
There is little possibility that the administration will announce any further hostile rules towards the H-1B program. With Biden’s friendly approach to immigration, it is safe to be optimistic about the trend in immigration policies for the next four years. This makes now the perfect time to prepare for your H-1B applications! Please do not waste this opportunity that we have all been long waiting for. Please contact us if you are planning on applying for an H-1B visa. Our well-experienced attorneys will tailor application strategies according to your situation to optimize your chance of pursuing a bright future in the United States. We are here to help!