The U.S. State Department has announced plans to summarily terminate "B-1 in lieu of H" visas. Immigration lawyers have been regularly applying for these types of visas on behalf of clients who were unable to receive H visas despite being otherwise eligible to receive them.
While these visas could not in any way have been classified as "silver bullets", they did offer many foreign nationals an opportunity to work in the U.S for at least 6 months when the corresponding H-1B visa (specialty worker) or H-3 visa (Trainee) was not obtainable.
Although H-1B visas are known to be "dual intent" visas, (thereby making it unnecessary to show proof of repatriation after the temporary work assignment in USA ends), the "B-1 in lieu of H" visas are "single intent" visas like B visas. As a result, a foreign national applying for a "B-1 in lieu of H" visa needs to convincingly demonstrate that he/she would repatriate once the temporary work assignment in the USA ends.
This repatriation requirement is set forth in INA 214(b), and is the most common reason for denial of U.S. Nonimmigrant visas at U.S. consular posts around the globe.
While these "B-1 in lieu of H" are used by only a subset of people who qualify to receive H visas, the Department of State is now attempting to eliminate them entirely.
By systematically shutting down longstanding, valid visa options that have been historically used by foreign nationals to temporarily work in the U.S. and meaningfully contribute to its economy, U.S. immigration lawyers seem to be in agreement that these policies are short-sighted and will be more harmful than helpful for the U.S. in the long term. See Department of State Public Notice.
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