MUMBAI: A US district court docket choose has prohibited using journey bans as an excuse to not course of or problem visas, akin to H-1Bs – a non-immigrant visa.
Whereas the US is gearing as much as open its doorways from November to completely vaccinated travellers, this resolution by the district court docket of Columbia, pronounced on October 5, is nice information for these holding H-1Bs and their dependants (akin to spouses holding H4 visas) who had discovered themselves stranded in India whereas visiting their household.
Individuals who had been allotted H-1Bs below the lottery mechanism additionally discovered themselves unable to get their visas processed.
Journey bans had been imposed below a ‘Presidential Proclamation’ earlier by former President Donald Trump and later by President Joe Biden. The fallout was that visa processing got here to a halt. No non-immigrant visas had been issued, until the person might declare a ‘Nationwide Curiosity Exemption’ – a difficult activity.

On April 30, Biden had issued a proclamation proscribing the entry of non-immigrants (green-card holders had been exempt from the ban) who had been bodily current inside India in the course of the 14-day interval previous their entry or tried entry into the US.
TOI had earlier reported about submitting of a lawsuit by a number of people, together with Indian nationals. “A number of plaintiffs are long-term workers of US firms, who’ve been caught outdoors of the US and whose careers are in danger as they can not return to their jobs, houses, and communities. All particular person plaintiffs have suffered further bills, undue stress and frustration whereas awaiting the Division of State’s resumption of non-immigrant visa processing,” acknowledged the lawsuit.
The submitted earlier than the district court docket that the US Division of State ‘has refused to course of their non-immigrant visas’ to ‘schedule interviews or adjudicate their visa functions’, or ‘to problem the visas’ because of the Presidential Proclamation. Additionally they identified that “consular officers are categorically precluded from processing their visa functions until they fall below an exemption, whatever the capability and reopening standing of native consulates and embassies”.
Whereas Choose James E. Boasberg didn’t order the US Division of State to instantly adjudicate the swimsuit, he has debarred using the journey ban proclamation as an excuse to refuse visa processing.
Greg Siskind, one of many immigration attorneys who’s representing the plaintiffs, mentioned: “This can be a fairly vital win for us as a result of it [the lawsuit] was particularly geared toward killing the unlawful interpretation throughout the board and never only for the plaintiffs. This can even hopefully bar a President sooner or later from abusing this energy.”
Charles Kuck, one other immigration lawyer representing the plaintiffs added: “We’re grateful that Choose Boasberg noticed by the cascade of baseless authorized theories put ahead by the Division of State to lastly and affirmatively rule that it’s a violation of federal regulation to refuse to points visas solely as a result of a President has proclaimed an entry ban below the Immigration and Nationality Act – 212(f). We name on the Division of State to now put off its ridiculous and legally pointless nationwide curiosity exemption program and get again to the enterprise of visa issuance around the globe no matter these entry bans.”

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