On Monday, US President Donald Trump temporarily suspended work permits till December 31 this year, with a view to free up to 5,25,000 jobs for Americans amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. He had signed an executive offer that extended the ban on the issuance of green cards to new immigrants, besides suspension of work visas such an H-1B and H-4 (spouses of H-1B visa holders).
Besides, issuance of work visas such as inter-company transfer (L1 visas) and ones used by doctors and researchers (J1 visas) have also been suspended. Exceptions have been made for doctors, however, who have been working on the Coronavirus pandemic. Reportedly, the executive order will not affect everyone. The Optional Practical Training (OPT) for international students will remain unaffected with the temporary suspension.
The official statement read, ” I determined that, without intervention, the United States faces a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand. Consequently, I suspended, for a period of 60 days, the entry of aliens as immigrants, subject to certain exceptions. “
Donald Trump directs reforms in immigration system
US President Donald Trump has also issued broader directions for reforms in the existing H-1B visa which is based upon a lottery system rather than a merit-based system. According to a senior administration official, the President has directed to close loopholes that allow outsourcing of jobs. The official informed that the existence of a merit-based immigration system will lead to a hike in both pay and skillset. Besides, it will lead to a decline in competition for entry-level jobs for Americans. Reportedly, reforms in the existing immigration system will witness preference to those with high wages and talent.