Can the holder of an H1B visa travel outside of the United States

US immigration ban extended

Against the background of the Corona crisis and its effects on the US labor market, President Trump has now suspended the issuing of certain work visas until the end of the year.

In April, Trump announced a 60-day stop for processing green card applications (permanent residence permits). The most common work visas are now also available. US experts hope that this measure will secure 500,000 jobs by the end of the year for Americans who would otherwise have been filled with foreign workers. The US currently has an unemployment rate of 13.3%. And even if the bottom seems to have been reached, re-entry into the labor market is proving difficult for many employees.

Which visa categories are affected?

The new regulation primarily affects visa categories H1B, L1 and J1.

US companies can use an H1B Visa to bring highly qualified foreign workers (with university degrees) into the country. The H1B program has been severely restricted in recent years. Among other things, the requirements with regard to the minimum salary have been increased significantly and the number of visas to be issued annually has been severely restricted. The background to this was the increased abuse of the H1B Visa, especially by software and IT companies, who recruited comparatively “cheap” workers from the Far East and India. It is considered very likely that further reforms of the H1B program will take place after the entry ban has expired.

The L1 visa concerns the internal transfer of employees. Foreign companies can send managers and specialists to their US branches or subsidiaries. L1 Visas are mainly used by large corporations to transfer employees to the USA.
As part of the visa application, it must be proven, among other things, why the position cannot also be filled by an American employee.

The J1 visa category mainly includes interns, trainees, au pairs and participants in certain professional or student exchange programs, such as doctors.

Who is not affected?

The ruling only applies to foreigners who are currently outside the United States and who do not yet have a visa. Foreigners who already have a visa can continue to stay in the USA and also enter the USA, provided that the corona entry regulations permit.

The visa categories for investors (E2) and traders (E1) are still not affected by the regulation and it can be assumed that this will remain the case. After all, the investor visa is tied to the creation of US jobs, which in the current situation should be in the interests of the US government. Nor does the measure affect the issuing of visas for tourist or business trips (B1 / B2)

Even if it is generally still possible to apply for the E and B visas, applications are currently not being processed or only processed with a delay, as the US consulates and embassies around the world are still open in emergency mode. It is currently still unclear when a return to normal operation will take place. We'll keep you up to date.

ALTON is a management consultancy at the interface between Germany and the USA. The ALTON team supports companies starting in the USA. In addition to administrative, legal and tax issues, the issue of visas often plays an important role. ALTON supports you in applying for visas for investors and employees and is at your side during the entire visa process.

We offer free half-hour initial meetings. Just write us an email [email protected]or call 0611 / 945850-0 to make an appointment.

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