US bans H-1B visas, green cards till the end of 2020

In a bid to bar the entry of immigrants in US, the Trump administration has banned new H1-B and H-4 visas, used by technology workers and their families, as well as L visas for intra-company transfers and most J visas for work- and study-abroad programs, till the end of the year.

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

He also said that between February and April this year, 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. Also, the May unemployment rate for young Americans, who compete with certain J non-immigrant visa applicants, has been particularly high — 29.9 percent for 16 to 19 year olds, and 23.2 percent for the 20 to 24 year-old group.

“The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant visa programs, therefore, presents a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said in the order

Indian nationals receive nearly 70% of the 85,000 H1-B visas issued each year. The restrictions will apply only to new work visas and not to existing holders who are in the United States currently. Those visa holders who are outside the US will not be able to return to the US.