Donald Trump teases changes for H-1B visa holders

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H-1B is considered the most sought-after work visa among highly-skilled Indian professionals.

"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 Friday on Twitter.

Trump has also derided visas granted to family members of United States residents or citizens as "chain migration", and backed a Republican proposal in 2017 that would have slashed legal immigration in half.

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

The H-1B is an employment visa for high-skilled foreign workers, specifically for jobs requiring a bachelor's degree or higher.

And, two, change the processing procedures to clear more applicant masters and higher academic qualification, which would result in an estimated increase of up to 16 % (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected H-1B beneficiaries with a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.

Also, simplifying a path to citizenship for H1-B visa holders would nearly certainly need congressional approval.

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It wasn't immediately clear whether Trump was referring to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the so-called Dreamers, illegal immigrants brought here as children who have seen their futures thrown into question after his decision to end the program past year.

H1-B visas are granted to professional workers sponsored by employers for a period of three years, which can be extended once. The president's message on January 11 suggests that the White House has reviewed at least one proposal and has decided on a course of action.

United States companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in specialized fields including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics. Trump has refused to sign on to a bill unless it includes $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country's southern border to prevent illegal immigration by migrants. The president has threatened to call a national emergency if Congress doesn't reach an agreement to fund his border wall.

The partial government shutdown over the impasse between the White House and congressional Democrats regarding the wall funding entered its 21st day Friday - tying the longest ever.

It would also entail a new electronic registration system meant to streamline the application process.

Here's a look at the American companies (and industries) that benefited the most from the program in 2017.

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