On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as part of the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S.A. With April 30th marking President Biden’s first 100 days in office, what has he achieved in business immigration?

While Biden moved swiftly to reverse some of Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, covering; DACA; rescinding the child separation policy; the ban on entrants from 13 predominantly Muslim countries; and the removal of the public charge rule, it’s fair to say that his policies towards business immigration have been patchy and confusing at best.

Great strides have been made in removing the protectionist visa policies which were enacted by President Trump, including revoking Presidential Proclamation 10052 (which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, and L visas), revoking Executive Order 13788, known as “Buy American and Hire American” (a bureaucratic nightmare) and a delay of 18 months on the final rule on the computation of prevailing wage levels, which would allow only those in the highest remunerated job roles to receive H1B visas.

It’s clear from the above that steps have been taken to remedy issues across the immigrant visa classes, while very little resource has been dedicated to counter the ongoing issues within the non-immigrant visa categories. In addition to the challenges applicants for non-immigrant visas were facing, President Biden has compounded these by not only suspending the entry of visa holders, but by removing a national interest determination which granted entry to certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty traders and investors, professional athletes, and their dependents. This authorisation was often based on demonstrating how the applicant’s entry to the USA would provide substantial economic benefit. As part of this update a new national interest determination allowing entry to those seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure was enacted. It has now been 2 months since this updated guidance was issued and the damage to trans-Atlantic businesses has been significant, with business owners unable to travel to even work with their US-based staff. To add further confusion, it remains to be seen why travelers on student visas are allowed to enter, providing they display a negative COVID test, but holders of E-1 and E-2 are not.

After the chaotic years of the Trump presidency, President Biden announced that “America is back, the trans-Atlantic alliance is back.” It’s difficult to see that this sentiment has been extended to cover trans-Atlantic businesses, and these first 100 days should be marked as “could do better“. We hope for improvements over the coming months, with a common sense, pragmatic approach to issues that business communities are experiencing during Covid-19.

Davies Legal Immigration  

At Davies Legal Immigration, we represent clients in connection with all types of family-based US immigration. We provide a comprehensive service, including clear and concise advice from the outset, a pragmatic approach and efficient working practices. We understand the importance of our cases to clients and adopt a well-reasoned, diligent approach, in order to maximize your prospects of success. Call now to speak to a licensed US immigration attorney and obtain a free, no obligation quote.