As we entered into 2021, President Trump extended the entry ban he signed last June to March 31st, 2021 in order to continue restricting certain employment-based visas in the U.S. This executive order not only keeps limiting the mobility of the international workforce coming into the U.S. but also affects business hiring and potentially hinders business growth. However, there are things to look forward to under President Biden's new administration that is likely to shed some positive light on the topic around the international workforce.
Even though the extended travel ban is set to expire at the end of March, President Biden has the authority to end it earlier. President Biden's vision for immigration is likely to have a positive impact on the future of international employees as he has expressed the importance of securing the values of the country as a nation of immigrants on his campaign site. For example, President Biden is committed to reforming the visa system that increases visa allocation for highly-skilled workers. Moreover, President Biden also proposes that foreign graduates of a U.S. doctoral program should be exempt from any visa cap and given a green card.
Though the US is in the political transition phase, the new administration's campaign promises can give some insight to employers when considering employing international employees in the future.
Stay positive but be patient. The new administration overall sends a strong positive signal to welcome international employees to work in the U.S. However, the legislative process may take longer than anticipated before any policy becomes official.
Keep an eye on the ever-changing policy. Given the risen employment claims and COVID-19 cases, it is uncertain if these events will shift or change the new administration's focus on immigration policy.
Collaborate with your legal and HR teams to ensure compliance. Employers can find the most up to date information about employment-based visas on the website of the U.S. Department of State.
Even though it remains uncertain when and how the new administration will reform the employment-based visa system, it still gives hope and confidence for employers and employees to look forward to in the future.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your HR Advisor for support.