Washington – President Donald Trump said he will announce new restrictions on employment-based immigration visas in the next two days, as the nation recovers from pandemic-related unemployment.
“We are going to announce something tomorrow or the next day on the visas,” Trump said in a Fox News interview Saturday, when asked about upcoming rules on several different visa categories, including the H1-B program for high-skilled workers and L-1 program for managers transferring within their companies.
There will be “very little” exclusions, Trump said. “In some cases you have to have exclusions. You need them for big businesses where they have certain people that have been coming in for a long time.”
One possibility under consideration would restrict people from entering the U.S. on visa categories including the H1-B program for as long as 180 days, Bloomberg News reported June 12, citing two people familiar with the proposal. Workers who were granted those visas but remain outside the country may not be able to enter until the order expires.
The move would affect hundreds of companies and thousands of people; the H1-B is awarded to about 85,000 workers annually.
Trump tweeted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic that he planned to “temporarily suspend immigration into the U.S.”
In the past few years, the administration has been moving to tighten the H1-B program, and the approval rate for applications has fallen. The technology industry has relied on H-1B visas to hire foreign talent, particularly in the fields of science and engineering. Critics say some companies have abused the program to displace American workers.