Trump promises citizenship path for skilled workers

US President Donald Trump Promises Changes To H-1B Visas
On H1-B visa, Donald Trump promises citizenship, welcomes talented, skilled people to US

12 January, 2019

Much Indian support in the U.S. 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.

President Donald Trump said Friday he would make it easier for top-skilled workers to stay in the United States and become citizens, offering uncharacteristic praise for immigrants´ contributions.

This is not Mr Trump's first attempt to overhaul visas - in April 2017, he ordered a reform of the U.S. visa program to benefit educated and highly skilled workers. H-1B visa holders can apply for a green card to obtain permanent residency - but even a green card does not equate to citizenship. The president has threatened to call a national emergency if Congress doesn't reach an agreement to fund his border wall.

US President Donald Trump on Friday assured H-1B visa holders, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indian IT professionals, that his administration will soon bring changes that will give them certainty to stay in America and a "potential path to citizenship".

Trump says the U.S. wants to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue careers in the U.S. As a candidate, he promised to stop H-1B visas from being used as a "cheap labor program".

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

Competition is tough for the temporary visas. "This isn't it", Numbers USA, a civil immigration forum, said in response to Trump's tweet. In 2018, the United States hit the limit on the number of H-1Bs it could issue, 65,000, by the first week of April, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

It would also entail a new electronic registration system meant to streamline the application process. 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.

The devil is in the details, said Todd Schulte, president of, a nonprofit group which advocates for pro-immigration policies.

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. Silicon Valley companies are the heaviest users of the H-1B visa.

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