New Delhi: United States (US) President Donald Trump on Friday asserted that he is planning changes to H-1B visas for professionals to ensure “certainty” and a path to citizenship for those on the visa. Notably, H-1B visas– popular among Indian IT companies and professionals is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Taking to micro-blogging site, Trump, tweeted, “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. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.”
Indians are the biggest beneficiaries of the temporary H1-B visas, 76 percent of which went to professionals from India last year, government statistics claimed.
Limiting H1-B visas has been a matter of concern for India and New Delhi has taken it up with Washington. Major US companies have also said that the limiting of H1-B visas and the long waits for permanent residence seriously affect their ability to get and retain talented staff.
Last year, US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had told lawmakers that the country should select the “very best” among the applicants under the H-1B visas. “Perhaps no other visa category has received as much attention in recent years as the H-1B, as reports of abuse of the program have caused outrage among the public”, Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told members of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee during a Congressional hearing.
“No qualified hardworking American should be forced to train their H-1B replacement, and then let go. The number of H-1B petitions routinely exceeds the statutory cap, and among that pool of petitions, we should endeavour to select the very best for the privilege of coming to the United States for work,” Nielsen added.