New restrictions on US work visas

Unless you are a lawyer or an experienced immigrant, the alphabet soup of visas listed in the ads can be difficult to decipher.

The president of United States, Donald trump, announced a series of new visa restrictions for temporary foreign workers, citing the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced officials to protect the jobs of Americans.

Business groups and immigrant rights advocates protested the measures because these restrictions will harm the economy and accused the Trump administration of using the public health crisis as a pretext to enact immigration restrictions that are unnecessary.

Unless you are a lawyer or an immigrant with experience navigating the US system, the alphabet soup of visas featured in Monday’s ads can be difficult to decipher. Simply put: a wide range of workers will be prevented from going to United States at least until January. And those restrictions could be extended.

There are some exceptions. Among them, the measure says officials will develop regulations to allow people who treat patients with Covid-19 or conduct research to help the United States fight the pandemic.

It will also draft similar rules to admit people who are critical to national security, necessary to aid the country’s economic recovery, or essential to the United States’ food supply chain. AND the new measures do not apply to people who have already obtained valid visas.

But even so, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that some 167,000 temporary workers will remain outside the United States as a result of these new restrictions, which take effect on Wednesday.

What are jobs that are included in the Trump measure and how many people could be affected in each visa category? Here are a series of special visas:

The Trmp measure blocks the legal entry of workers to the United States.

H-1B visa

According to him United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the H-1B visa category covers people who “work in a specialized occupation, participate in cooperative research and development projects administered by the United States Department of Defense, or are recognized persons nationally or internationally. ”

The H-1B is better known as a visa for skilled tech workersBut it also applies to workers in other industries, such as healthcare and the media, who use these visas. How many people could be affected: 29,000, according to MPI estimates, plus some 19,000 employees with H-4 visas.

H-2B visa

According to USCIS, the H-2B program allows American employers “to bring foreign nationals to the United States to occupy temporary non-farm jobs.”

In general they apply to temporary workers in a wide variety of industries, according to the National Immigration Forum, which includes landscaping, forestry, hospitality, and construction. How many people could be affected: 23,000, according to MPI.

J-1 visa

According to the State Department, the J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa for “individuals approved to participate in work exchange and study programs

Trump’s move lists a number of affected workers, including interns, apprentices, teachers, camp counselors and participants in summer work travel programs. How many people could be affected: 72,000, according to MPI (plus about 11,000 dependents with J-2 visas).

L-1 visa

According to the USCIS, the L visa category covers “temporary transfers within the company who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge.”

What type of work do these visas cover? Managers, executives and employees with specialized knowledge. How many people could be affected: 6,000, according to MPI (plus about 7,000 dependents on L-2 visas).

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