Donald Trump Says New H1-B Visa Rules Will Welcome Highly Skilled People, Pave 'Path to Citizenship'
File image of US President Donald Trump | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Washington, January 11: With uncertainty prevailing among IT majors in the United States over the future of H1-B visa, President Donald Trump on Friday hinted a relief, claiming that the beneficiaries of the visa programme should "rest assured" on the reforms he intends to bring. His remarks indicated a climbdown from his erstwhile populist stance - "Buy American, Hire American".

Trump claimed that the new H1-B norms will ensure merit is preferred. Among the applicants, the "most talented and highly skilled" will be preferred, the President said, adding that his proposed reforms will also pave way for a US citizenship. H1B Visa Blacklisted Firms: List of 26 Companies Named as Willful Violators by US Department of Labour.

Apart from keeping merit as the only criteria for issuing visas under the H1-B programme, the new rules will also ensure "simplicity and certainty", Trump said. His remarks are likely to be welcomed by the aspirants, who are left in lurch for years while seeking the special visa.

“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 said, further adding, “We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US."

 

The H1-B visa allows US companies to hire foreign workers in some skilled occupations. The programme has been under scrutiny and mounting restrictions since Trump took office and unveiled his “Buy America, Hire America” vision to encourage local manufacturing and local employment

The H1-B visa programme allows companies based in the US to procure foreign workers, who may be more skilled and agree to work at relatively lower wages, as compared to what an American employee would demand.

Over the last decade, Indian software engineers, IT personnel and Indian companies were found to be to the greatest beneficiary of the H1-B programme.

In run-up to the elections, Trump had specifically targeted the Indian and Chinese workers for "stealing the jobs of Americans". After winning the presidential polls in 2016, he decided to abrogate the H1-B programme in its current form to "bring jobs back to the US".