Pres. Trump says changes coming on high-tech visas

US President Donald Trump Promises Changes To H-1B Visas

"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 tweeted.

President Trump vowed in a tweet on Friday to make changes to the H-1B visa program in the USA, including offering a potential path to citizenship for visa holders.

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".

Studying official data, the Cato Institute last year estimated the wait for an Indian seeking an EB-2 visa, which provides permanent residency based on advanced academic achievement, had risen to 151 years - at which point, barring a medical miracle, the applicant would be dead.

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.

What's changing: Trump may be referring to a proposed rule introduced in December.

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

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H-1B visa programme allows United States employers, which include Indian companies with American operations such as TCS and Infosys, to hire foreigners for speciality professions to make up for the shortage of locally available hands. 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.

The partial government shutdown over the impasse between the White House and congressional Democrats regarding the wall funding entered its 21st day Friday - tying the longest ever.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas, which require a bachelor's degree. 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 devil is in the details, said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, a nonprofit group which advocates for pro-immigration policies.

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

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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