The White House confirmed that President Donald Trump intends to extend the ban on granting new visas to work in the country until the end of 2020 and to expand it, to reduce the unemployment rate that has risen under the pandemic.

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday that the move would create 525,000 jobs, adding that Trump was “determined to get the Americans back to work as quickly as possible.”

He stressed that the decision will extend the ban until the end of this year and will expand its scope to include H1-B visas popular in the technology industries sector, which is granted annually to 85,000 workers with special skills.

He added that the freezing of the issuance of “H1-B visas” is a temporary measure that will be taken pending the restructuring of the program, and transferring it from an annual lottery that secures programmers and other specialists in the “Silicon Valley”, to a system that gives priority to the most valuable foreign workers.

The decision will also include “Jay” visas granted to academics and researchers, in addition to the “L” visas adopted by companies to transfer workers residing outside the country to their headquarters in the United States.

The official added that Trump “will prioritize those workers who will be offered the highest salaries” as an indication that they are able to add value to the US economy.

Trump is expected to sign later Monday an executive order extending the two-month-old ban for 60 days.