Published: Fri, January 11, 2019

Donald Trump promises USA citizenship for H-1B visa workers

Donald Trump promises USA citizenship for H-1B visa workers

President Donald Trump told H-1B visa holders to "rest assured" because "changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty" to their status in the United States in a tweet early Friday.

President Donald Trump says changes are coming in the way that the US handles temporary H1-B visas, which allow American companies to bring high-tech and other skilled workers into the USA from overseas.

The Republican president has often said he wanted an immigration system that favoured educated or highly skilled people.

The White House did not immediately comment on whether Mr. Trump was considering changes beyond those proposed in new rules issued in December by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The president's message on January 11 suggests that the White House has reviewed at least one proposal and has decided on a course of action.

President Donald Trump said on Friday he is planning changes including a possible pathway to U.S. citizenship to foreigners holding H-1B visas, issued temporarily to highly educated immigrants who work in specialty occupations such as technology or medicine.

Trump, a Republican, and Democrats in the U.S. 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.

The announcement of a revision in H1-B visa rules comes at a time when the U.S. government has reached the 21st day of shutdown on Friday, with no solution of reopening the government in the near future.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas.

"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 wrote in an August 2015 immigration platform. As a requirement, employers can't offer an H-1B petition to a foreign worker if there are Americans vying for the job.

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.

The cap on the visas has frustrated tech giants, who rely on the H-1B program to bring in skilled workers due to a shortage in the United States.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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