Trump says changes coming on high-tech visas

Trump says changes coming on high-tech visas

The H1-B visa program allows USA companies to hire foreign workers in some skilled occupations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he plans changes to the H-1B program that grants temporary visas for specialty occupations such as technology or medicine, but his administration said later he was referring to changes that were proposed past year.

"H-1B holders in the USA can be rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship", the President wrote on Twitter on Friday, amidst a partial shutdown of the federal government and negotiations to end it.

But it's unclear whether the revisions he has in store will put the minds of the 85,000 immigrants brought to the USA on skilled work visas each year at ease.

Some Trump advisors, pandering to this nativist constituency, have been leery of the H-1B program, claiming that it brings in sub-standard low-paid foreign guest workers who take jobs from American professionals.

But under an executive order signed by Trump in April 2017 - "Buy American and Hire American" - it's become more hard for USA companies to hire people via H-1B.

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".

The proposal is created to increase the number of H-1B beneficiaries by 16 percent, or 5,340 more workers, who hold advanced degrees from American universities. American workers are truly the best and brightest.

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Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first - not wealthy globetrotting donors.

Trump's tweet comes as a good news for Indian professionals, especially in the IT sector, who now have to wait for almost a decade to get a Green Card or permanent legal residency.

"So if you are smart you are allowed in, but if you are fleeing for your life and your children's lives, you have to stay on the other side of your imaginary wall?" asked another Trump critic, adding, "I commend you continuing the H1-B, but trying to act all high and mighty over this is a joke".

Donald Trump's tweet comes as a good news for Indian professionals, especially in the IT sector, who now have to wait for almost a decade to get a Green Card or permanent legal residency.

In recent weeks, he has been talking about a merit-based immigration system to reduce overall immigration to the US.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Trump was referring to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the so-called Dreamers, illegal immigrants brought here as children who have seen their futures thrown into question after his decision to end the program past year. A lot of them are IT professionals.

But American tech corporations aren't the only beneficiaries of the program. Gates has gone so far as to suggest a green card should be stapled to foreign students who graduate with distinction from U.S. universities.

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