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Who all will be hurt the most by Trump's visa ban

Trump’s new order bars thousands from getting employed or joining work-study programmes in the US. It restricts American companies from hiring foreigners and blocks spouses of foreigners working in the US from entering the country.

ET Online|
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 10.42 AM IST
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US Immigration
Starting June 24, the United States stopped issuing certain categories of work visas to stop immigrant workers from taking American jobs. The executive order signed by President Trump is valid till at least December 31, and targets the H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 visa types, along with dependent visas.

Trump’s new order bars thousands from getting employed or joining work-study programmes in the US. It restricts American companies from hiring foreigners and blocks spouses of foreigners working in the US from entering the country.

This move will also have serious repercussions for Indian techies and the domestic IT industry.

Nearly half of a million H-1B visas issued between 2004 and 2012 went to Indians. Along with their dependents, they accounted for more than a fourth of the Indian-American population, which is currently around 3 million.

Here are the visas that have been put on hold till December 2020:
1) H-1B visa
What is it: The H-1B visa category covers individuals who “work in a specialty occupation, engage in cooperative research and development projects administered by the US Department of Defense, or are fashion models that have national or international acclaim and recognition.”

Who's covered: The H-1B is most well known as a visa for skilled tech workers, but other industries, like health care and the media, also use these visas.

Dependent visas: A H4 visa is issued to dependent family members (spouse and children) of H1 visa holders who would like to accompany the H-1B visa holder to the US during their stay.

How many are affected: Since the inception of H-1B, the number of visas issued per year has been capped. Currently, about 65,000 visas are issued every year.

2) H-2B visa
What it is: According to USCIS, the H-2B program allows US employers or agents “to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.”

Who's covered: They generally apply to seasonal workers in industries like landscaping, forestry, hospitality and construction.

How many are affected: The cap for H-2B is set at 66,000 per fiscal year - with 33,000 for workers beginning work in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 - March 31) and 33,000 beginning in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30). Additional H-2B visas are issued based on demand of such labour.

3) J-1 visa
What it is: The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa for individuals approved to participate in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs in the United States.

Who's covered:
The impacted people include interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs and participants in summer work travel programs.

Dependent visas: The J-2 visa is issued for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.

How many are affected: There is no statutory cap on the number of J-1 visas available annually, but each year the Department of State allocates a pre-set number of Certificates of Eligibility (Form DS-2019) to program sponsors to issue to potential participants in exchange visitor programs across the country.

4) L-1 visa
What it is: The L1 Visa is reserved for managerial or executive professionals transferring to the US from within the same company, or a subsidiary of it. The L1 Visa can also be used for a foreign company opening up US operations.

Who's covered: Within the L1 Visa, there are two subsidiary types of visas
  • L1A visa for managers and executives.
  • L1B visa for those with specialized knowledge.

Dependent visas: The dependents of L-1 visa holders, including spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old), are eligible to accompany their relative on an L-2 visa.

How many are affected: There is no limit or cap on the number of L1 visas granted to applicants each year.

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