Biden Rescinds Trump’s Immigrant Visa Ban, Retains H-1B & L-1 Ban, and Introduces the U.S. "CA21"
Late yesterday, the Biden Administration announced that it is rescinding Trump’s immigrant visa ban (Presidential Proclamation 10014) which temporarily prevented foreign nationals from obtaining immigrant (green card) visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad. Unfortunately, Biden has declined to rescind Trump’s ban on H-1B and L-1s from entering the country (Presidential Proclamation 10052). This ban has stranded thousands of workers in H and L status outside the country since June of last year. This ban will remain in place until March 31, 2021.
On February 18, 2021, the Biden Administration also introduced into Congress the United States Citizenship Act of 2021 (“CA21”), which aims to overhaul many features of U.S. immigration law. The bill would offer legal status to millions of undocumented persons in the United States, increase the number of "diversity lottery" numbers, and provide several new benefits favorable to family-based immigration. Most importantly for foreign workers and their employers, CA21 would eliminate the per-country quotas for employer-sponsored green cards, and implement a wage-based lottery process for new H-1Bs. The latter change was originally proposed by the Trump Administration through regulatory means late last year. It is unlikely that the bill in its current form will garner sufficient support from Republican Senators to become law. We will provide a more comprehensive overview of CA21 in our weekly immigration roundup tomorrow.