Trump Suspends the H1B Visa: Will it Affect Students? No!


2020! This year seems to be a year of shocks and not-so-pleasant surprises. The pandemic has generated a ripple effect of shockwaves that have kept people across the world on their vigil, while most of them also fear facing an uncertain future.

The latest buzz is all about Trump temporarily stalling the H1B visas. Sounds like bad news; but not bad news for you! Want to know how? Then, first, let us see what exactly the temporary ban is on.

US President Donald Trump has signed an order that puts a temporary ban on immigration and non-immigrant worker visas such as H-1B, H-2B, H-4, J, and L-1 till December 31st 2020.

Currently, there is a cap of 85,000 H-1B Visas to be issued every year through a random lottery system. However, it is very likely that the lottery system will be scrapped and the Visas will be issued based on skill levels and salary offers. This means the top 85,000 in terms of salary offers will get the Visa sanctioned, thereby ensuring that only the most skilled resources (US-educated foreign technology professionals) are given the opportunity.

So you see, none of these visas are the ones that you will be applying to; well, not for now at least. So who all are going to be impacted and how? Let us understand.

  • People outside the US who want to apply or have already applied for an H-1B, L-1, H-2B, H-4, or J Visa
  • Dependents of these applicants such as their spouses and dependent children
  • People who have already applied and are waiting for the Visa will have to wait even after their Visa is approved until the ban is lifted
  • Companies that have hired foreign nationals and are expecting to on-board them by this year
  • Companies that have an active intra-transfer policy and want to transfer their specialists to their offices in the US.


Who Will Not Get Impacted?

  • People who are outside the US but have a valid H-1B visa
  • Dependents of the people who have a valid H-1B Visa even if they are outside the US
  • People who have completed their academic programs and are under the OPT (Optional Practical Training), awaiting a change in their status under the H-1B cap
  • People who are applying or will be applying to the US for Bachelor’s, Master’s, MBA, Ph.D., and other courses (You!)

** Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a one-year period granted to undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status to work and gather experience in the US after the completion of their degree. All STEM-accredited students receive a 2-year extension post the initial OPT.


So, What Next?

Now that we have convinced you of the truth that this ban is not going to knock down your study abroad dreams, let us see how this is going to be beneficial for you.

Students who have already completed their courses in the US and are under Optional Practical Training (OPT) are unaffected by this imposed ban on the H-1B. Not only that, they now stand a greater chance of getting employed, and because of the imposed ban on H-1B visas till the end of the year.

If you start your academic dreams in the US by joining the Fall or Spring semesters in 2020 or 2021, you will be graduating in 2022 or after. By this time, it is likely that this pandemic and the resulting setbacks are over but irrespective of that, you will be at an advantage after you graduate and change your F-1 status to OPT (Optional Practical Training). Companies that want to hire people with higher skill levels are more likely to choose you because of the temporary ban on H-1B visas. Thus, your chances of getting employed at your dream company are also brighter. 

In fact, career guidance experts advise the Indian students who have graduated this year, to not return to India and instead change their status to OPT and improve their possibilities of getting employed in the US, with good pay.

Therefore, please be assured that this new development in the US has not and will not, in the near future, negatively impact your aspirations for overseas education. You may continue to dream on and most importantly, work relentlessly to upskill yourself and make this dream come true because, ban or no ban, ‘where there is a skill, there is a way’.

For more information, call our Study Abroad Helpline at 1800 102 4646

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