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Trump limits work visas: What to know about affected programs

Brittany De Lea

The Trump administration is taking action to restrict some temporary work visas for the remainder of 2020, which will apply to a number of different programs.

Five different visa types are expected to be mentioned in the order, including the popular H-1B visas. The White House, however, is expected to make exceptions for a number of groups of workers, including those in the food industry.

The executive order will preserve more than 525,000 American jobs, according to a senior administration official,

Here’s a look at which visas will be affected, and the groups of people that typically apply for them.

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H-1B

The H-1B visa program is for high-skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations. Applicants generally have at least a Bachelor’s Degree – if not higher – and companies tend to file petitions on behalf of workers.

People who work in cooperative research or on projects for the Department of Defense are eligible for H-1B visas.

Fashion models with national or international recognition can also apply for this program.

Criteria includes having a working relationship with a petitioning U.S. employer. The duration of stay is three years.

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H-2B

This program allows employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to work in nonagricultural labor.

Often this program is used for seasonal services – the work must be temporary in nature. People who work at a resort for summer months, for example, can typically apply through this process.

Employers must meet certain recruitment standards in order to prove they are not overlooking U.S. workers who may be interested in the positions.

H-4

An H-4 visa is typically issued to dependent spouses of H-1B visa recipients.

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J-1

The J-1 visitor visa program is a work-study exchange category for approved non-immigrant individuals, which allows them to teach, study, research or receive on-the-job training for a specified timeframe – ranging from a few weeks to several years. These visas are often awarded to scholars, teachers, medical graduates, au pairs and camp counselors.

The program provides opportunities for around 300,000 applicants each year, from 200 countries and territories. Participants are expected to return to their home countries upon completion of the program in order to share their experiences.

In 2019, California had more than 36,300 participants, according to data from the government. New York had 31,662.

L-1

Employers generally file petitions for L-1A and L-1B visas.

L-1A applicants tend to be intracompany transfers in managerial or executive positions, while L-1B transferees often work in positions that require specialized knowledge.

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