Trump suspends work visas including H-1B till year-end

US President Donald Trump

New Delhi (NVI): US President Donald Trump has temporarily suspended new work visas, including H-1B visas, till the year-end and barred thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States.

An executive order was issued to extend the suspension of green cards and expand it to cover non-immigrant work visas, which through a separate reform regulation at some future date, will also undergo a series of permanent overhauls to make it merit-based by prioritising highest-paid applicants.

Visas are blocked for a wide variety of jobs, including those for computer programmers and other skilled workers who enter the country under the H-1B visa, as well as those for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, students on work-study summer programs and au pairs who arrive under other auspices.

The order further restricts the ability of American companies with global operations and international companies with US branches to transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or yearslong stints.

In a statement released by the White House, it was stated that the measure prolongs the ban on US employment permits to year-end and broadens it to include H1-B visas used widely in the tech industry to ensure American workers take first priority as the nation starts recovering from the economic effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens,” Donald Trump said.

Trump said that between February and April of 2020, 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.

However, the President’s order won’t affect immigrant workers who already hold the visas.