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These US companies employ the most H-1B visa holders

These US companies employ the most H-1B visa holders

Some Trump advisors, pandering to this nativist constituency, have been leery of the H-1B program, claiming that it brings in sub-standard low-paid foreign guest workers who take jobs from American professionals.

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". Because the current system imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of Green Cards or the Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), countries such as India and China, with large population of potential or aspiring immigrants, have to wait long years to become United States residents.

While it was unclear what prompted Trump's tweet, The Washington Post on Friday ran a front-page article on how tech workers are increasingly moving from the United States to Canada due to the hassle in obtaining H1-B visas.

The H-1B visa allows USA companies to employ skilled workers from overseas - more than three lakh Indians are believed to be on this work permit. But it's unclear whether the revisions he has in store will put the minds of the 85,000 immigrants brought to the USA on skilled work visas each year at ease. The president has said that foreign workers should be selected based on skill and paygrade and must not replace Americans.

It is typically issued for three to six years to employers to hire a foreign worker. The dispute, which pits the White House against Democrats in Congress, has led to one of the longest government shutdowns in U.S. history. It would also streamline the application process with a new electronic registration system.




His promise on H1-Bs came just as Trump is pressing to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers, most of whom are low-skilled, in a showdown with Congress that has triggered a shutdown of the federal government.

The United States grants 65,000 H-1B visas every year and an additional 20,000 visas for those with a master's degree or higher.

Doug Rand, a former White House official in the Obama administration who worked on immigration issues, said the proposed changes to the lottery selection process were at best modest and at worst could cause chaos. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government that is now in its 21st day.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump proposed increasing the prevailing wage paid to H-1B visa holders in an effort to force companies to give entry-level jobs to an existing pool of unemployed workers in the US, instead of bringing in cheaper workers from overseas. Silicon Valley companies are the heaviest users of the H-1B visa.