What Is the H-1B Visa Program?

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If you only think of a visa as a type of credit card in your wallet, you may have been surprised to learn the term has a whole other meaning that is tied to the volatile topic of immigration. The visa program in the U.S. allows foreign citizens to enter the country and stay for varying amounts of time for different reasons. The H-1B visa recently made big headlines as one of the types of visas temporarily suspended by an executive order signed by President Trump on June 22, 2020, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This particular type of visa grants nonimmigrant aliens the right to work in the U.S. based on specific conditions and criteria. In general, foreign workers must have specialized skills in a specialty occupation or be a fashion model to qualify. With H-1B visas in the news, critics who believe they harm the American workforce as well as experts who insist they are essential have all started voicing their opinions. If you’re not sure which side to support, it may help to understand more about how these visas work.