- Visa Cap for the H1B program has remained unchanged since 2004
- A proposal to increase this cap may be finalized later in 2019
- A change in policy may favor highly skilled and educated visa applicants
According to President Trump’s latest tweet, citizenship may be easier to obtain for H1B visa holders. Read on to find out more.
For H1B visa holders, US citizenship may become easier to obtain in the near future according to President Trump’s twitter post.
A number of changes have already been introduced to the H1B visa program by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These changes have largely favoured educated and highly skilled visa applicants.
The White House did not make a comment on President Trump’s latest announcement. When asked about the tweet, a spokesman of the USCIS, Michael Bars referred to changes being proposed in the H1B application process. These changes may be finalized later this year.
The proposed changes are designed to introduce an electronic registration system and increase the number of H1B visas awarded by 16%. If the proposal is agreed upon, 5,340 additional applicants who hold advanced degrees from universities in America may be granted H1B visas.
H1B Visa Caps
This will not be the first time a change is made to the H1B visa cap. Currently, the US government issues 85,000 visas under this program. Of these, 20,000 are reserved for applicants with a Master’s degree.
When the program was first announced in 1990, the visas were capped at 65,000. This was later increased to 115,000 in 1999 and further increased to 195,000 in 2001 as a result of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first-century act.
In 2004, it was brought down to 65,000 again but an additional 20,000 visas were set aside for applicants with a Master’s degree or higher qualifications. The visa cap has remained unchanged since then.
In 2018, the USCIS reached the limit of visas they could issue within the first week of April.
How Many People Could This Affect?
The H1B visa is very popular among skilled workers in many specialized fields such as medicine, information technology, engineering etc. This visa allows immigrants to live and work in the USA and also makes them eligible for a Green Card in due time.
Thus, it is also known as a dual intent visa. This visa is valid for 6 years after which the person must leave the country or have a valid application that is being processed for a Green Card. Thus, at any given time, there may be around 500,000 foreigners living in the USA on with an H1B visa.
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