USA: US President Donald Trump has extended a pause on some green cards and suspended visas for other foreign workers until the end of 2020.
President Trump on Monday signed an executive order to suspend new H-1B, L-1, J and other temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs through the end of the year.
The motive of the move is to protect 525,000 jobs as part of the White House response to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said a senior administration official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity. NPR first reported the impending order on Saturday.
“Americans have been hurt through no fault of their own due to the coronavirus,” the official said. “And the president is prioritizing getting them back into the labor supply and getting them to work and standing on their own two feet again.”
According to Trump, over 17 million United States jobs were lost between February and April of 2020 in industries in which employers are interested in hiring workers tied to H-2B nonimmigrant visas.
“During this same period, more than 20 million United States workers lost their jobs in key industries where employers are currently requesting H-1B and L workers to fill positions,” he said.
H-1B visas, which are often granted to Indian tech workers and their families. H-1B visas are currently distributed via a lottery, but the Trump administration is proposing they instead be awarded by highest salary.
H-2B visas for seasonal workers, including those in the hospitality industry, except those in agriculture, the food processing industry and healthcare professionals.
J-1 short-term exchange visas, a category that includes university students and foreign au pairs who provide childcare. Professors and scholars are not included in the order.
L visas for managers and other key employees of multinational corporations will also be suspended.