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Trump promises citizenship path for skilled workers from outside U.S.


‘Rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay…’

(Article republished from LibertyHeadlines.com)

(AFP) President Donald Trump said Friday he would make it easier for top-skilled workers to stay in the United States and become citizens.

Trump pledged to reform coveted H1-B visas, for which three-quarters of applicants are from India, most of them in the technology sector.

“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.

“We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.”

The real estate mogul ran for president as a hardliner on immigration and has previously vowed to crack down on H1-Bs by encouraging reporting of visa fraud and insisting that businesses first hire Americans.

His promise on H1-Bs came just as Trump is pressing to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out unauthorized immigrants, in a showdown with Congress that has triggered a shutdown of the federal government.

While it was unclear what prompted Trump’s tweet, The Washington Post on Friday ran a front-page article on how tech workers are increasingly moving from the United States to Canada due to the hassle in obtaining H1-B visas.

Silicon Valley and India have both pushed hard for a more generous visa system for skilled foreign employees, saying they are indispensable in powering the tech industry, but critics charge that native-born Americans should have priority for the generally well-paying jobs.

The United States each year grants 85,000 H1-B visas, including 20,000 that are reserved for workers with master’s degrees or higher.

H1-B visas are granted to professional workers sponsored by employers for a period of three years, which can be extended once.

The visa can still be simpler to obtain than seeking to become a permanent resident and eventually citizen of the United States.

Studying official data, the Cato Institute last year estimated the wait for an Indian seeking an EB-2 visa, which provides permanent residency based on advanced academic achievement, had risen to 151 years — at which point, barring a medical miracle, the applicant would be dead.

Read more at: LibertyHeadlines.com

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