Biden will let Trump’s H-1B visa ban expire this week, report says

The H-1B visa ban may be coming to an end.

Screenshot by Corinne Reichert/CNET

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The H-1B visa ban introduced by former President Donald Trump last year will expire Wednesday, with current President Joe Biden to allow the rules to come to an end, LA Times reported citing unnamed sources.

It follows the Trump administration in June 2020 stopping the government from issuing H-1B visas through an an executive order linked to the coronavirus pandemic. In October, Trump then placed new restrictions on H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers — rules that were struck down by a federal judge in December who said the administration failed to show “good cause” for issuing the rules on an emergency basis. 

The Trump administration had argued that the new rules, which fell under the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security, needed to be issued rapidly because of unemployment caused by COVID-19. The Labor Department rule, which went into effect in October, raised the minimum salaries employers were required to pay H-1B workers. The Homeland Security rule, which was set to take effect in December, would have required foreign workers to have a degree in the “specialty occupation” they apply for — as opposed to any college degree.

The tech industry relies heavily on H-1B visas, with around three-quarters of each year’s 85,000 allotted H-1B visas going to people who work in tech.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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