Trump Promises Changes To H1-B Visas, Including Potential Citizenship

Donald Trump,H1-B visa,US citizenship

The White House did not immediately comment on whether President Trump was considering changes beyond those proposed in new rules issued in December by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

H-1B visa programme allows United States employers, which include Indian companies with American operations such as TCS and Infosys, to hire foreigners for speciality professions to make up for the shortage of locally available hands.

"H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship", Trump wrote Friday on Twitter. "This isn't it", Numbers USA, a civil immigration forum, said in response to Trump's tweet.

The president added that his administration aims to encourage talented and well-qualified people to pursue their career goals in the United States.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump proposed increasing the prevailing wage paid to H-1B visa holders in an effort to force companies to give entry-level jobs to an existing pool of unemployed workers in the USA, instead of bringing in cheaper workers from overseas.

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Previous changes the administration made in 2018 to the H-1B application process favor applications with advanced degrees.

Immigration authorities have also pledged to revise the requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa in an effort to curb abuse and move to a more merit-based system.

The president's unexpected outreach towards foreign guest workers came amid a furious debate over immigration reform and the need for a southern border wall, which he says is need to staunch illegal immigrants, while pledging to smoothen the path for legal immigration. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government that is now in its 21st day.

Silicon Valley tech giants overwhelmingly support Democrats, which may mean that Trump is using the potential H-1B reforms as a bargaining chip to make a deal that would scupper the stalemate and end the shutdown. Denials of H-1B visa applications spiked 41 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2017, according to federal data obtained by the National Foundation for American Policy.

And, two, change the processing procedures to clear more applicant masters and higher academic qualification, which would result in an estimated increase of up to 16 % (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected H-1B beneficiaries with a master's degree or higher from a USA institution of higher education. The visas are heavily used in the tech sector.

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