Trump floats "path to citizenship" for H-1B visa holders

Postado Janeiro 11, 2019

"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 floated a "potential path to citizenship" for H1-B visa holders in an early Friday morning tweet, as the partial government shutdown is set to become the longest shutdown on record.

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".

However, the visa does not provide any permanent path to citizenship for immigrant workers coming to the US. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) directed questions about it to the White House, and a response was awaited.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the H1-B visa permits U.S. employers to hire temporary foreign workers with at least a bachelor's degree, or equivalent specialized work experience, to fill needs not met by the American workforce. Trump and Congress are deadlocked over how to fund the border wall, one of his key 2016 campaign promises. 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.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas. The change would allow immigration officials to review all H-1B applicants, including those with advanced degrees, at the same time, slightly increasing the chances that a higher percentage of the visas will go to more educated workers.

Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers that the United States should "endeavour to select the very best" among the applicants under the H-1B foreign work visa programme. 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.

"This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program", the Trump campaign stated in August 2015.

According to a report from Financial Express, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel and Google were among the top 10 employers for approved H-1B visas in 2017. Only the headline has been changed.