Trump says U.S. to change how it handles H1-B visas
Trump says U.S. to change how it handles H1-B visas
Trump floats 'path to citizenship', says H1B changes coming soon
11 January, 2019, 22:15
U.S. president Donald Trump on Friday pledged to reform the H-1B visa process, a skilled temporary guest worker programme widely used by Indian professionals, saying he wants to "encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US" and provide "a potential path to citizenship". "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S".
It was unclear what Trump meant by a "potential path to citizenship" for H-1B visa holders, who already are eligible to be sponsored by employers for legal permanent residency, which would then make them eligible to become US citizens.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers working in the United States on H-1B visas may soon be granted a path to citizenship, according to President Donald Trump.
The Trump administration, she said, has stepped up its measures to detect employment-based visa fraud and abuse, but certain non-immigrant visa programmes need reform in order to protect American workers better.
"Mr. president, what about American tech workers who are being displaced by H-1B guest workers and recent college grads who can't find jobs in STEM fields?"
In November, US Citizenship and Immigration Services had proposed major changes in the H-1B application process which it said is aimed at awarding this visa to the most skilled and highest paid foreign workers.
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Trump, a Republican, and Democrats in the U.S. Congress are at an impasse, as refuses to end the longest shutdown in federal government history until he secures $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country's southern border.
Democrats call the proposed wall expensive, ineffective and immoral. Some immigration experts do not believe the new registration system will be ready in time for the next lottery, which occurs in the spring. The H-1B system now operates as a lottery and does not offer a path to citizenship. His administration has also worked to limit legal immigration, including through a proposal that would penalize aspiring immigrants who use public benefits.
But under an executive order signed by Trump in April 2017 - "Buy American and Hire American" - it's become more hard for US companies to hire people via H-1B.
Trump campaigned for president on a promise to crack down on immigrants, who he said took jobs away from U.S. citizens.
USA companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.
Trump's major announcement on H-1B visas - through twitter, without any further details - comes as part of his known preference to attract and retain best talent in the US.
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