Also suspended are L1 visas (for intracompany transfer) and J1 visas (widely used by doctors and researchers).
A senior administration official told journalists in a background briefing that the measures, decreed through an executive order by President Trump, would be temporary, and would free up 525,000 jobs for American workers
But the President had also issued directions for a broader reform of the visa regime that will replace the current lottery system for 85,000 H1B visas with a merit based system that will favor those who are offered the highest wages.
“This will drive up both wage level and skill level. It will also eliminate competition with Americans for entry level jobs,” the official said, adding that the President had also directed that all loopholes enabling outsourcing of jobs should be closed.
The reform will ensure that jobs go to those who are paid the highest wages and America gets the best and brightest talent, the official added.
The executive order will also narrow the exceptions for J1 visas widely used by doctors, allowing only those physicians working on the coronavirus issue.