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

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

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

"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", Mr. Trump tweeted.

Trump's tweet came the morning after his visit to the US-Mexico border on Thursday to promote his plan for building the wall to prevent illegal immigration, crime and drug-smuggling.

Trump didn't offer specifics of a deal, but has pointed to possible changes to the H1-B system during the federal shutdown, which entered its 21st day Friday. In the first two years of Trump's presidency, the administration had made it hard for H-1B visa holders over the extension and issuing of new ones.

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 U.S. institution of higher education.

Major US companies have warned that the limiting of H1-B visas and the long waits for permanent residence, seriously affect their ability to get and retain talented staff. American workers are truly the best and brightest. "It is always bad for people using the program, but hope springs eternal", Leon Fresco, a former Department of Justice immigration attorney, told Axios. It's unclear what prompted Mr. Trump's tweet.

"So if you are smart you are allowed in, but if you are fleeing for your life and your children's lives, you have to stay on the other side of your imaginary wall?" asked another Trump critic, adding, "I commend you continuing the H1-B, but trying to act all high and mighty over this is a joke".

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 their employers for legal permanent residency, which would make them eligible to become US citizens. Because the current system imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of Green Cards or the Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), countries such as India and China, with large population of potential or aspiring immigrants, have to wait long years to become United States residents. Majority are IT professionals.

The visa can still be simpler to obtain than seeking to become a permanent resident and eventually citizen of the United States. Of these, 20,000 are reserved for those graduating with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

In recent weeks, he has been talking about a merit-based immigration system to reduce overall immigration to the US. There is a 20,000 limit on the number of green cards that can be given each year to people from India and most countries.