Trump to suspend US work visa till year end

US President Donald Trump will prolong a ban on US employment permits to year-end and broaden it to include H-1B visas used widely in the tech industry, the White House has said.

A senior administration official told journalists the move would free up 525,000 jobs, making a dent in the high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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“President Trump is focused on getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

Trump had endlessly touted a strong economy, but now finds himself desperate for a political boost ahead of the November election.

His executive order, signed Monday afternoon, will extend and widen the 60-day freeze Trump placed on new work permits for non-US citizens two months ago.

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The administration official said the new order would extend to the end of 2020 and include H-1B visas provided to 85,000 workers each year with special skills, many of them joining the US technology industry.

It will also cover most J visas, common for academics and researchers, and L visas used by companies to shift workers based overseas to their US offices.

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