Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump says changes coming on high-tech visas

Trump says changes coming on high-tech visas

US President Donald Trump says the changes will create simplicity, certainty.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said major changes are coming to the H-1B visa programme, which has become a popular gateway for Indians to the US, that will offer a potential path to citizenship to those holding it.

The cap on the visas has frustrated tech giants, who rely on the H-1B program to bring in skilled workers due to a shortage in the United States. Holders are also eligible to be sponsored by their employers for legal permanent residency, which would make them eligible to become U.S. citizens.

"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 said Friday on Twitter.

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. If enacted, it would require employers to enter an online registry for each worker they want to hire using an H-1B visa before the application period opens.

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

The president's softening on the legal immigration through H-1B issue did not please the American tech workers constituency that has campaigned against the H-1B guest worker program citing widespread misuse, and which supported him in hope that he will curtail it.

His promise on H1-Bs came just as Trump is pressing to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers, most of whom are low-skilled, in a showdown with Congress that has triggered a shutdown of the federal government. The announcement comes as Trump continues to spar with Democrats over his plan for a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas.

Trump campaigned for president on a promise to crack down on immigrants, who he said took jobs away from U.S. citizens.

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 United States institution of higher education. In April 2017, he signed an executive order for a review of the H-1B program.

Like this: