Trump eases H1B L1 rules

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Trump eases H1B L1 rules

Trump Administration has announced certain exemptions in H1B and L1 travel ban for those continuing employment with the same employer which may help for those working in IT industry and health sector. President Donald Trump, in his June proclamation, banned the entry into the US of workers in several key non-immigrant visa categories, including the H1B, arguing that they eat into American jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All those on H1B visas working in the health care sector, especially those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit are also exempted from the July 22 travel ban.

Further new factors have been set forth to also allow H1B visas to be issued when at least two of the five indicators are met, the State Department said.

  1. First, the petitioning employer has a continued need for the services or labor to be performed by the H1B non-immigrant in the United States. Cases where Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) were approved during or after July 2020 or if the LCA was approved before July 2020, the consular officer must be able to determine from the visa application the continuing need of the employee with the US employer.
  2. The applicant’s proposed job duties or position within the petitioning company indicate the individual will provide significant and unique contributions to an employer meeting a critical infrastructure need. Critical infrastructure sectors are chemical, communications, dams, defense industrial base, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government facilities, health care and public health, information technology, nuclear reactors, transportation, and water systems.
  3. The wage rate paid to the H1B applicant meaningfully exceeds the prevailing wage rate by at least 15 per cent. When an H1B applicant will receive a wage that meaningfully exceeds the prevailing wage, it suggests that the employee fills an important business need where an American worker is not available.
  4. The H1B applicant’s education, training and/or experience demonstrate unusual expertise in the specialty occupation in which the applicant will be employed. For example, an H1B applicant with a doctorate or professional degree, or many years of relevant work experience, may have such advanced expertise in the relevant occupation as to make it more likely that he or she will perform critically important work for the petitioning employer.

The exemptions for L1 visas are mostly similar to that of the H1B L1A applicants seeking to establish a new office in the United States likely do not fall into this category, unless two of the three criteria are met and the new office will employ, directly or indirectly, five or more US workers, the State Department said.

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