Trump floats "path to citizenship" for H-1B visa holders

Trump floats

Trump floats "path to citizenship" for H-1B visa holders

US President Donald Trump said Friday that he will change the H1-B visa system for professionals to ensure "certainty" and a path to citizenship for those on the visa.

President Donald Trump says changes are coming in the way that the US handles temporary H1-B visas, which allow American companies to bring high-tech and other skilled workers into the USA from overseas.

"We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the USA", he added.

Mr. Trump has expressed openness to a broader immigration overhaul, but has insisted that he first wants funding for a concrete or steel wall or barrier, along with funding for technology and personnel to handle the situation at the border.

When asked about the tweet, USCIS spokesman Michael Bars pointed to the administration's proposed changes to the H-1B process, which are likely to become final later this year.

Trump's tweet on the visa programme came amid his battle with congressional Democrats over spending legislation to fund the federal government.

Doug Rand, a former White House official in the Obama administration who worked on immigration issues, said the proposed changes to the lottery selection process were at best modest and at worst could cause chaos. Trump, a Republican, has embraced changes to the immigration system to favor educated or highly skilled people. The change would also prioritize H-1B applications for workers with advanced degrees from American universities.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas.

Democrats call the proposed wall expensive, ineffective and immoral.

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.

The President has said the wall will stem illegal immigration, and has long promised to deliver it after it was a key element of his campaign strategy.

The announcement of a revision in H1-B visa rules comes at a time when the United States government has reached the 21st day of shutdown on Friday, with no solution of reopening the government in the near future. In April 2017, he signed an executive order for a review of the H-1B program.

The H-1B is non-immigrant visa that allows USA employers to hire graduate-level workers in specialty occupations, like IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, science and medicine.

And in November 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor began requiring employers of H-1B recipients use a new labor condition application form.

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