The White House is considering eliminating or restricting the use of the J-1 visa internship/trainee program, as well as the J-1 summer work travel, au pair and camp counselor programs (but not the other J programs), according to a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday.

Why it matters: The internship/trainee programs are used by many U.S. firms to bring in foreign personnel. In 2016, more than 15,000 people entered the U.S. through these programs – 5,903 J-1 interns were employed in California alone.

Between the lines:

  • Discussions are in the preliminary stage, and there appears to be some opposition to eliminating these programs from the State Department, which administers the J visa programs.
  • These discussions are part of a general White House review to limit or restrict employment on temporary non-immigrant visas.
  • Any change is unlikely to occur immediately. The J visa categories are authorized by regulation, so it may require new regulations (which involve a public notice and comment period) before these visa categories can be eliminated or changed.

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