The Trump administration is working on placing a temporary ban on the issuance of some work-based visas like H-1B, which are popular among highly-skilled Indian IT professionals, as well as students visas and work authorisation that accompanies them, as unemployment levels spike in the US due to the coronavirus pandemic, a media report said on Friday.
"The president's immigration advisers are drawing up plans for a coming executive order, expected this month, that would ban the issuance of some new temporary, work-based visas," The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
"The order is expected to focus on visa categories including H-1B, designed for highly skilled workers, and H-2B, for seasonal migrant workers, as well as student visas and the work authorization that accompanies them," it added.
Nearly 500,000 migrant workers, mainly from India and China, are employed in American companies under the H-1B visa which is issued as a non-immigrant visas for speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
In the last two months, over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment as the spread of COVID-19 brings the US economy to a standstill. The IMF and the World Bank have projected a negative growth rate for the country.
White House officials have said that the US economy is likely to grow at negative 15 to 20 percent in the April-June quarter.
Further, the monthly jobs report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday showed that the unemployment rate in the US for the month of April rose to 14.7 percent, the highest month on month increase ever.
Last month, President Donald Trump had signed an executive order temporarily barring new immigrants for 60 days, including family members of US citizens.
Though the scope of the order hasn't yet been decided, administration officials said it could range from suspensions of entire visa categories to the creation of incentives to hire Americans in industries hardest-hit by layoffs, the Wall Street Journal reported.
With inputs from PTI