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Friday, 12 June, 2020, 13 : 05 PM [IST]

US may suspend H-1B visas: Report

The Donald Trump administration is said to be considering a proposal to suspend employment visas, including the most coveted H-1B visa. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the proposed suspension could bar any new H-1B holder outside the America from coming to work until the suspension is lifted, though visa holders already in the country are unlikely to be affected.

H-1B is the most coveted foreign work visas for technology professionals from India. Such a decision by the Trump administration is likely to have an adverse impact on thousands of Indian IT professionals. Already a large number of Indians on the H-1B visas have lost their jobs and are headed back home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump administration has argued that the coronavirus pandemic requires limits on immigration to prevent sick people from entering the country and to ensure that Americans get jobs first as the economy rebounds, the report said.

“The administration is currently evaluating a wide range of options, formulated by career experts, to protect American workers and job seekers, especially disadvantaged and underserved citizens—but no decisions of any kind have been made," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

A final decision on the issue is yet to be taken.

The Trump government is also said to be considering a proposal to increase H-1B visa application fee from USD 460 to USD 20,000. "It is also considering ending an Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H-1B workers to work on their visas. That could eliminate approximately 100,000 immigrants from the workforce over time," the report said

Besides the H-1B visa, H-2B visa for short-term seasonal workers, J-1 visa for short-term workers including camp counsellors and au pairs and L-1 visa for internal company transfers could also be suspended.

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