United States President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration is planning an overhaul of policies on the H-1B visa that will encourage talented and highly-skilled people to pursue career options in the country.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US.”
The H-1B visa allows US companies to employ skilled workers from abroad – more than three lakh Indians are believed to be on this work permit. In the first two years of Trump’s presidency, the administration had made it difficult for H-1B visa holders over the extension and issuing of new ones.
The US in November had announced that it planned to introduce a new merit-based rule under which companies employing foreign workers on H-1B visas will have to register their petitions in advance. The aim of the rules would be to provide visas to the most skilled and highest-paid foreign workers.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesperson Michael Bars told the Hindustan Times that the new changes would help bring the best workers into the country. “These proposed regulatory changes would help ensure more of the best and brightest workers from around the world come to America under the H-1B programme, including up to an estimated 16% rise in number of selected H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a US institution,” he said.
According to the proposed rules, companies employing workers on these visas would be required to electronically register with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services during a designated registration period. It would increase by 16%, or by 5,340, the number of H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from an American institution of higher education.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services would also reverse the order allowing it to select H-1B petitions under the cap and the advanced degree exemption.
The administration had also invited comments from the public on the proposed rules, the deadline for which ended on January 2.