Week 8 of the Biden Administration: Employment-Based Immigration Update

02. Mar. 2021

President Biden has been in office less than 100 days, however in this short period several positive changes have been announced which directly benefit the US employment-based immigration system. 

Most notably, on February 24th President Biden revoked the Immigrant Visa Ban outlined in Presidential Proclamation 10014 issued by former President Trump, which suspended immigrant visas due to the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak. With this development, thousands of applicants waiting for green cards outside of the US will be able to apply for entry.

On January 25th, President Biden revoked the “Buy American Hire American” Executive Order from President Trump, which instructed the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to propose new rules for “protecting US workers” while targeting employment visa programs such as the H-1B.

On January 20th, President Biden also revoked the discriminatory ban on entry for travelers from predominantly Muslim countries and several African countries first instituted by President Trump via Executive Order 13780 and Proclamations 9645, 9723, and 9983. Initially ordered in March 2017, this discriminatory ban caused chaos at US airports as travelers were denied entry and families were separated without notice.

More changes are expected in the near and long-term, including the review of the US Citizenship Act of 2021 recently introduced in the House and Senate, which includes resolutions to end employment-based visa backlogs and eliminate per-country visa caps, and incentivizes hire wages for high-skilled workers.