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Trump Says He's Eyeing Citizenship Path in Worker Visa Program

Trump Says He's Eyeing Citizenship Path in Worker Visa Program

One of the most sought-after visa programs in the USA, the H-1B, could see some significant changes in 2019, according to President Trump, including a potential path to citizenship for recipients of the non-immigrant visa.

The Republican president has often said he wanted an immigration system that favoured educated or highly skilled people.

During his presidential campaign, Trump suggested an increase in prevailing wages for H-1B visa-holders.

In April 2017, Trump ordered a review of the H1-B visa program to ensure that the United States admits "the most skilled and highest paid" applicants.

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 USA institution of higher education.

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Trump, who has also sought to limit legal immigration, in April 2017 ordered a reform of the US visa program to benefit educated and highly skilled workers.

Donald 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.

What it means for tech: Big tech companies apply for H-1B visas on behalf of foreign-born workers to fill their talent shortages.

There has been no further comment from the President or the White House on what changes could be implemented, or when they may come into effect.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas.

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Critics questioned why Trump tweeted about a month-old proposal at a time when he is battling with congressional Democrats over spending legislation to fund the federal government. Trump has refused to sign on to a bill unless it includes $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country's southern border to prevent illegal immigration by migrants. In 2018, the United States hit the limit on the number of H-1B visas it could issue, 65,000, by the first week of April, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The announcement of a revision in H1-B visa rules comes at a time when the U.S. government has reached the 21st day of shutdown on Friday, with no solution of reopening the government in the near future.

United States companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in several specialised fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.

The Trump administration, she said, has stepped up its measures to detect employment-based visa fraud and abuse, but certain non-immigrant visa programmes need reform in order to protect American workers better.

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