Joe Biden spent a great deal of time campaigning on undoing much of the Trump Administration’s immigration rules. Biden promised to modernize the U.S. immigration system overall, including welcoming immigrants and asylum seekers. Radical changes from the previous administration are already having ripple effects for business owners. Learn how Biden immigration rules impact business owners of international business.
New Biden Immigration Rules Create Hope for International Business
President Biden has tried to keep his campaign promise about immigration reform. To date, he has signed Executive Orders relating to immigration on:
- Reversing the Muslim ban
- Preserving and fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Ending the emergency at the U.S. border with Mexico
- Reversing the Trump Administration order to immediately remove undocumented immigrants
Besides the above Executive Actions, Congress has passed, and Biden has signed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. This law provides an eight-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. For business owners, these actions should gradually increase the pool of potential hires for open positions by reducing the stress and anxiety on immigrant security.
Visa Restrictions Continue to Slow International Business
Notably, however, Biden immigration rules have yet to rescind any of the Trump Administration’s restrictions on work visas. Business groups found this delay in action concerning. The Biden administration failed to act quickly, even though it did so on family-based immigration issues.
During the ban, many companies in a wide range of industries left jobs unfilled. Without skilled immigrants, businesses simply couldn’t find the right workers for the job. Worse yet, for domestic employers, many of those skilled workers that wanted to come to the U.S. stayed abroad having found other employment.
With skilled workers no longer looking to enter the U.S., many businesses had to leave open roles unfilled. Others turned to foreign outsourcing, forcing them to send much-needed employment opportunities to other nations.
Eased H-1B Visa Restrictions Aid International Business
The Biden administration has allowed the ban on H-1B and other skilled worker visas to expire. Often referred to as the lifeblood of U.S. immigration, H-1B recipients are highly skilled workers who have helped build this country. Without them, the U.S. may well be decades behind where it is today.
The Trump Administration’s ban on H-1B entrants was meant to keep U.S. jobs open for U.S. workers. Ultimately, the jobs stayed open because most people qualified for these roles were immigrants. Business leaders hope that by re-opening the H-1B flood gates, these jobs will get filled, and businesses will begin to recover.
Biden Immigration Rules Eased L-1 Visa Restrictions Also Aids International Business
The L-1 visa, also part of the Trump Administration ban that Biden allowed to expire, applies to top foreign executives of multinational companies. These individuals may use an L-1 visa to make an internal transfer in their company to a U.S.-based location.
Many L-1 visa recipients come to the U.S. to manage large projects for their companies. With the ban on L-1 entrants, international businesses had to find less-qualified people to kick off projects, manage the project remotely, or simply delay the project altogether. None of these solutions were desirable.
For many international business owners, delaying the project was the least-worst option. But that decision results in production delays, new business opportunity delays, and additional hiring delays. Recovering from this ripple effect may take years.
New International Entrepreneur Rule Opens International Business Door
In 2017, just weeks before leaving office, the Obama Administration proposed the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). This program would have let foreign-born entrepreneurs stay in the U.S. for up to five years. The Trump Administration opposed this rule. In May, the Biden Administration announced it would fully implement the IER.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that about 3000 foreign-born entrepreneurs would qualify under the IER each year. Over the course of a decade, this could create over 100,000 U.S. jobs. To be clear, the IER is not an actual visa. Only Congress can create a visa channel through which immigrants can enter the U.S. Instead, the IER gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to temporarily allow non-citizens to enter the country to support their business operations.
Biden immigration rules impact business in many facets. By implementing the IER, the Biden Administration is focusing on revitalizing the U.S. business sector. The IER also provides an alternative to the E-2 visa, which requires the international business owner to have personally and substantially invested in their business. Ultimately, the IER provides international business owners with the opportunity to grow their business further and add U.S. workers to their employment base.
Biden Immigration Rules Should Prove Beneficial for International Businesses
Biden’s changing immigration policies, while creating confusion and whiplash from the Trump Administration’s policies, will be a net positive for international business owners. For some time, businesses have been hampered by unnecessarily strict controls on immigration. Restrictions have resulted in businesses finding it difficult to keep moving.
Particularly with the L-1 visa, restrictions have made it more costly and time-consuming for international business owners to complete U.S.-based projects. Not only has that stunted business growth and product release, but it has also contributed to slowing U.S. job growth.
Many L-1 visa recipients come to the U.S. to spearhead large corporate projects that add thousands upon thousands of jobs to local communities. Without L-1 recipients coming into the U.S., an international business owner had to make tough decisions. Eased visa restrictions should mean fewer tough decisions and greater opportunities for international business growth.
International Business Growth Requires International Business Lawyers
With the Biden immigration rules in this area, international business owners face fewer restrictions, reducing the limitations on their ability to grow their business. But finding your way through these changing immigration laws and complex requirements for individual immigrants creates additional challenges for international business owners. When immigration rules impact business, getting support and guidance from a trusted international business lawyer may be just what your company needs.
Retain the Premier International Business Lawyers at Boyer Law Firm
International business is complex. You need to understand and adhere to at least two different country’s immigration and employment laws. Navigating these complex waters requires an experienced and trusted legal advisor. The premier immigration lawyers at Boyer Law Firm have successfully helped many business owners compete internationally by addressing employment-based immigration opportunities. Whether your business needs cross-border joint venture guidance or counsel on complex international immigration laws, we can help.
Whatever legal needs your international business requires, our team provides trusted legal guidance you can rely on to manage your business effectively. Contact us today to find out how we can support your business immigration needs.