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Posted at: Jan 12, 2019, 6:47 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 10:18 AM (IST)

Trump promises changes to temporary H1-B visas, including potential citizenship

Trump shifts stance, promises changes in visa programme
Trump promises changes to temporary H1-B visas, including potential citizenship
File photo of Donald Trump. Reuters

Washington, January 11

US President Donald Trump on Friday assured H-1B visa holders, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indian IT professionals, that his administration will soon bring changes that will give them certainty to stay in America and a “potential path to citizenship”.

Trump on Friday tweeted that his administration is planning an overhaul of US policies on H-1B visa and will encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US. “H1-B holders in the US 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 US,” Trump tweeted. Trump’s tweet comes as good news for Indian professionals, especially in the IT sector, who currently have to wait for nearly a decade to get a Green Card or permanent legal residency.

In the first two years of his presidency, the Trump administration made it tough for the H-1B visa holders over their overstay, extension and issuing of new visa to them.

Trump’s major announcement on H-1B visas — through Twitter, without any further details — comes as part of his known preference to attract and retain best talent in the US.  In recent weeks, he has been talking about a merit-based immigration system to reduce overall immigration to the US.

Trump’s tweet, given that his administration had created an image of being anti-H-1B visa, came as a surprise to many and several H-1B visa holders from India took to social media to welcome the move. “Thanks a ton for giving a hope and assurance, legal immigrants are contributing to US economy (billion dollar companies, universities, real estate etc.,) and yet waiting for decades on certainty.  #MAGA #legalimmigration #H1B,” Indian techie Manofjoy tweeted. — PTI

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