Trump promises changes to H1-B visas, including potential citizenship

Published: January 11, 2019
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Travelers make their way through Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, US. PHOTO: REUTERS

Travelers make their way through Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, US. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON DC: President Donald Trump on Friday said he is planning changes to H-1B visas, which are issued temporarily to highly educated immigrants so they can work in specialty occupations, that would create simplicity, certainty and a possibility that the workers could become US citizens.

“H1-B [sic] 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. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US,” Trump said in an early morning tweet.

Trump, a Republican, and Democrats in the US Congress are at an impasse, as refuses to end the longest shutdown in federal government history until he secures $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country’s southern border.

Trump to unveil immigration, visa restrictions: reports

While Trump typically depicts undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through Mexico as criminals and terrorists, he frequently praises those applying for H-1Bs, who must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas. 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.

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