As per information released by the US Department of State (DoS), the number of F1, H1B, and L1 visas gave to Indian students up to September 2020 had drooped by 64% in the midst of the Covid pandemic. With US visa processing services temporarily suspended, Indian students were granted only 15,000 visas between October 2019 and September 2020.
This represents the lowest number of F1 visas given to Indian nationals. Since the 1999 – 2000 Fiscal Year and a reduction of 64% compared with 2018 – 2019. Meanwhile, the number of H1B visas and L1 visas gave in a similar period also fell.
H1B and L1 visas
The number of L1 visas granted dropped by almost 50% (46%). While H1B visa approvals slumped by 28% compared to the 2019 Fiscal Year.
According to a statement gave by the DoS, the slump in numbers is ascribed to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the government office having to temporarily close down its visa processing services. In India, US visa workplaces started canceling visa application processing on 16th March 2020.
Under the Trump government, international students have been focused on. In the midst of the pandemic, Trump has looked to introduce a number of policies aimed at forcing international students out of the nation including an order that would make foreign students as of now in the US, return home if their courses were run absolutely on the online (web).
While this policy was retracted following a huge backlash, new F1 visa candidates were left in an in-between state. Meanwhile, Trump has since proposed legislation that would reduce the amount of time international students are permitted to stay in the US on their F1 visa.
US Immigration Under Siege
International students and families have been seriously influenced by increasingly restrictive US visa rules. Under the Trump government, US immigration has gone under siege with a series of sweeping executive orders. Making it harder for foreign nationals to make sure about US entry, from the very first moment of Trump’s government.
Within weeks of becoming President, Trump focused on various Muslim-majority countries with a US visa ban. While beginning work on his controversial, anti-immigrant border wall. Following the Covid outbreak arriving at the US, Trump ordered a work visa boycott, barring entry to the nation through a few visa categories until at least the end of 2020.
Trump has been blamed for utilizing the Covid pandemic to further his anti-immigration plan. Under the guidance of one of his chief advisers, Stephen Miller – an immigration hardliner.
However, there’s an expectation that President-elect, Joe Biden, will reverse many of Trump’s anti-immigration policies when he takes office in January 2021. Still, there are fears that Trump will utilize his remaining days as President to further tighten US immigration rules.
In spite of Biden officially being declared the winner following the US election, Trump has refused to concede and is rather reportedly ‘hatching a plan’ to file lawsuits claiming election fraud.