H1-B visa workers may soon get US citizenship, promises Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump Promises Changes To H-1B Visas

"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 on Twitter.

"We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the United States".

While Trump typically depicts undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through Mexico as criminals and terrorists, he frequently praises those applying for H-1B visas, which require a bachelor's degree or higher.

"H1-B holders in the USA can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship". The change would also prioritize H-1B applications for workers with advanced degrees from American universities.

A draft proposal circulated in January to review regulations, find ways to allocate visas more efficiently and ensure that beneficiaries are "the best and the brightest". "In the annual battle for H-1Bs between IT outsourcing companies and tech companies seeking longer-term workers, this rule would probably help the latter", Doug Rand, co-founder of Seattle startup Boundless Immigration and a former immigration policy official in the Obama White House, said in November.

Much Indian support in the USA for president Trump is premised on his pledge to reform the immigration system that many experts say discriminates against those to come to the country legally while favoring illegal immigrants who are beneficiaries of various amnesty and regularization programs.

Trump issued the message on H-1B amid a government shutdown which resulted from an impasse with congressional Democrats, who are refusing to fund a security package for the southwest border that includes funds for constructing a barrier, Trump's signature campaign promise.

"The odds that a complicated new electronic processing system will be effectively launched by DHS in time for the next lottery on April 1 is low probability and has nothing to do with a potential path to citizenship", Rand said.

The Republican president has often said he wanted an immigration system that favoured educated or highly skilled people. He said his group, which was founded by tech executives including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, remains "skeptical of vague pronouncements given the administration's track record".

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 US, instead of bringing in cheaper workers from overseas. But the visa program has also drawn criticism for being used heavily by foreign outsourcing companies that squeeze out American firms.

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