Starting Today, Big Win For US Tech Firms On H-1B Visas

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President Joe Biden plans to allow a pandemic-related ban on visas for certain temporary workers, enacted by former President Donald Trump, to expire Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.

The moratorium, which affected H-1B visas used by technology companies to hire foreign coders and engineers, was imposed last June. Biden is opting not to renew it, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been announced. The White House declined to comment.

Biden’s decision will please business groups, which had pressured the administration to lift the ban ever since the new president took office. Executives have grown frustrated that the directive was not immediately revoked, arguing it hurt U.S. companies.

Trump’s restrictions on guest-worker visas, which also covered non-agricultural seasonal laborers, au pairs and others, had been under review by the Biden administration.

Biden last month withdrew a related Trump executive order that stopped the issuance of new green cards, citing the pandemic — a move that drastically cut legal immigration to the U.S. Trump had argued the policies were necessary to protect the American economy as it emerged from the pandemic-induced recession.

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