Global Business Team

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How the immigration freeze will affect employment visas

Foreign nationals may be affected by immigration changes announced by the United States government on April 21. The H1-B and EB-5 visas are both exempt from the changes, but individuals who wish to move to Indiana on either of these visas may encounter other obstacles.

Danger for the H-1B visa?

The immigration freeze, which is supposed to last for 60 days, does not affect several other categories, including science and health professionals working on COVID-19 as well as spouses and eligible family members of lawful permanent residents and citizens. However, the U.S. government’s focus on prioritizing jobs for Americans combined with some of the consequences of COVID-19 has had an effect on work-related visas anyway, including H-1Bs, which largely go to Indian nationals. Since 2017, paperwork and rejections have increased. Downsizing as a result of the pandemic means that some employers might not make use of the H1-B visas they have.

Potential EB-5 obstacles

The EB-5 visa smooths the way for individuals who are able to invest at least $900,000. However, the Indian government has increased taxes related to this visa, which makes it less attractive to nationals from that country. Investors may also want to ensure their plan involves job creation for Americans to raise their chances of a successful application.

Adjustment of status

At present, only new recipients of green cards are affected by the temporary freeze. Those who apply for “adjustment of status” to change from a work visa to permanent residency should still be able to proceed.

There are a number of other employment-based visas, and regulations around them can be complex and fast-changing. If you are interested in applying for or renewing any of these visas or you have questions about your status, an attorney may be able to help.