Trump says massive visa overhaul could lead to U.S. citizenship

Pauline Gross
January 12, 2019

Trump tweeted Friday that those who hold the temporary H1-B visas can "rest assured" because changes are coming that will bring "both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship".

The president added that his administration aims to encourage talented and well-qualified people to pursue their career goals in the United States.

Mr. Trump has expressed openness to a broader immigration overhaul, but has insisted that he first wants funding for a concrete or steel wall or barrier, along with funding for technology and personnel to handle the situation at the border.

Michael Bars, a USCIS spokesperson, said in a statement, "These proposed regulatory changes would help ensure more of the best and brightest workers from around the world come to America under the H-1B program, including up to an estimated 16% rise in number of selected H-1B beneficiaries with a master's degree or higher from a United States institution".

US President Donald Trump says the changes will create simplicity, certainty.

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Also, simplifying a path to citizenship for H1-B visa holders would nearly certainly need congressional approval. Trump, a Republican, has embraced changes to the immigration system to favor educated or highly skilled people. The White House did not immediately comment on what kind of changes Trump was considering. "These proposed regulatory changes would help ensure more of the best and brightest workers from around the world come to America under the H-1B programme, including up to an estimated 16% rise in number of selected H-1B beneficiaries with a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution", he said.

H-1B visas are created to bring in foreign workers, especially ones with specialized knowledge of their field. 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.

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. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the USA government that is now in its 21st day. 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.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump proposed increasing the prevailing wage paid to the visa holders in an effort to force companies to give entry-level jobs to an existing pool of unemployed workers.

Here's a look at the American companies (and industries) that benefited the most from the program in 2017.

Other reports by GizPress

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