On H1-B visa, Donald Trump promises citizenship, welcomes talented, skilled people to US
12 January, 2019, 00:34
Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allots about 85,000 of the H-1B visas - 65,000 for applicants with a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and 20,000 for those with a master's degree or higher.
President Trump said Friday that he is planning an overhaul to H-1B visas - which allow foreigners to work in the United States temporarily in specialty occupations - that could lead to American citizenship.
Almost 400,000 foreign guest workers, including more than 300,000 Indian professionals, are stuck in what is called H1-B limbo, their route to permanent residency and citizenship squeezed by country-specific quotes and the obsessive focus on resolving the illegal immigration issue at the expense of the legal immigration gridlock.
Trump's tweet comes as a good news for Indian professionals, especially in the IT sector, who now have to wait for almost a decade to get a Green Card or permanent legal residency.
"H1-B (sic) 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 on Twitter.
During his presidential campaign, Trump suggested an increase in prevailing wages for H-1B visa-holders.
The president added that his administration aims to encourage talented and well-qualified people to pursue their career goals in the United States.
Trump and Democrats in the US Congress are at an impasse over spending legislation to fund the federal government.
The proposal is created to increase by 5,340, or 16 per cent, the number of H-1B beneficiaries who hold advanced degrees from American universities.
Mr Trump wants to include $5.6 billion for a wall along the border with Mexico. Trump had said a year ago that his administration plans to overhaul the program.
Immigration authorities have also pledged to revise the requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa in an effort to curb abuse and move to a more merit-based system.
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.
And in November 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor began requiring employers of H-1B recipients use a new labor condition application form.
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.
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