Posted on June 22, 2020

Trump Expected to Suspend H-1B, Other Visas Until End of Year

Franco Ordoñez, NPR, June 20, 2020

President Trump is expected to sign an order to suspend H-1B, L-1 and other temporary work visas through the end of the year, according to the multiple sources familiar with the plan.

The new order — which is expected to come with broad exceptions — comes as the administration continues to wrestle with high unemployment among American workers because of the coronavirus pandemic and tries to kick-start the economic recovery.

The order would target H-1B visas, which are designed for certain skilled workers such as those employed in the tech industry, as well as L-1 visas, which are meant for executives who work for large corporations.

The executive action is also expected to suspend H-2B visas for seasonal workers such as hotel and construction staff, and J-1 visas, which are meant for research scholars and professors and other cultural and work-exchange programs. Trump could renew the suspensions when they lapse. The order is not expected to immediately affect anyone already in the United States.


If signed, it would be the latest restriction on immigration imposed by the Trump administration since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

In May, Trump issued a temporary halt on new green cards but stopped short of suspending guest worker programs amid concerns from the business community.

Negotiations are ongoing in the latest order over various exceptions, including whether au pairs should be included, and changes could still occur before Trump signs the measure, which could happen imminently. {snip}


The order does include many exceptions.

It does not apply to H-2A agriculture workers who Trump says are necessary to ensure grocery store shelves remain stocked with fruits and vegetables. Health care workers involved in treating coronavirus patients would also be exempt.