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Trump Says He's Eyeing Citizenship Path in Worker Visa Program


"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", Trump said on Twitter. "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S", he tweeted. 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.

This is not Mr Trump's first attempt to overhaul visas - in April 2017, he ordered a reform of the United States visa program to benefit educated and highly skilled workers.

Trump has said he will consider a broader reform of immigration, but not before funding is secured for a concrete or steel wall along the border and more technology and personnel to oversee the barrier.

Also, simplifying a path to citizenship for H1-B visa holders would nearly certainly need congressional approval. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S. 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.

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. In the first two years of Trump's presidency, the administration had made it hard for H-1B visa holders over the extension and issuing of new ones.

President Trump said Friday that he is planning an overhaul to H-1B visas - which allow foreigners to work in the United States temporarily in specialty occupations - that could lead to American citizenship.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas. Trump and Congress are deadlocked over how to fund the border wall, one of his key 2016 campaign promises. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the USA government that is now in its 21st day.

Under the proposed rule, companies seeking foreign workers on H-1B visa - under the Congressional mandated annual caps - would first have to electronically register with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period.

The Trump administration, she said, has stepped up its measures to detect employment-based visa fraud and abuse, but certain non-immigrant visa programmes need reform in order to protect American workers better. Denials of H-1B visa applications spiked 41 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2017, according to federal data obtained by the National Foundation for American Policy.