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‘Path to Citizenship' could be coming soon: Trump on H-1B Visa

by Webdesk


WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump indicated on Friday he wants to improve the H-1B visa process for skilled foreign workers including a possible pathway to US citizenship to foreigners holding H-1B visas.


The announcement posted on Twitter comes as Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall fight with Democrats in Congress has kept the federal government closed for 21 days.


“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.


US companies often use H-1B visas to hire highly-skilled immigrants to work in specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics. The visas are heavily used in the tech sector.


Trump’s vow to streamline the H1-B process comes after rules under which the visas are issued were tightened in 2018 by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. In a policy memo, the agency outlined a number of new requirements, which could deter companies and visa applicants.


Applications for H1-B visas have been falling, although demand still far outstrips supply. Each year, only 85,000 H1-Bs are issued to for-profit companies—a limit that has not been revised since 2005.


Trump did not supply specifics about what H1-B changes to expect and the White House did not expand on the president’s tweet. But his tweet suggested potentially more favorable terms for skilled workers from abroad, a change from his prior threats to create more restrictive policies for those workers.