April 1, 2021

U.S. Ban on Issuing Certain Visa Types Expires

A proclamation by former President Trump that temporarily suspended issuing certain non-immigrant visas in the U.S. has now expired, effectively removing travel bans based on visa classification.

Originally implemented last June as part of broader initiatives intended to protect U.S. workers in light of the economic effects of the pandemic, the suspension was initially set to expire on December 31, 2020. It was extended by the previous administration through March 31, 2021. President Biden revoked other related Trump-era bans last February, but opted to allow the proclamation suspending H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visas to run through the March expiration.

While the lifting of the moratorium is welcome news to many employers who rely on H, L and J-category visas to secure foreign talent, particularly within the technology sector, the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to make travel and visa application appointments difficult.

Ongoing health-related restrictions in worldwide consular services, coupled with the previous immigrant and non-immigrant visa bans, have created significant application backlogs. Employers and applicants should expect delays, and continue to monitor testing, travel and quarantine requirements for entry into the United States.

For further information on visa categories and application processes within the U.S., please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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