The changes were meant to "ensure our visa system benefits Americans and USA workers to the greatest extent possible and reinforces the administration's commitment to the legal immigration process", an official said on background.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday (Jan 11) he plans changes to the H-1B programme that grants temporary visas for specialty occupations such as technology or medicine, but his administration said later he was referring to changes that were proposed a year ago. 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 USA residents.
President Donald Trump told H-1B visa holders to "rest assured" because "changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty" to their status in the United States in a tweet early Friday.
"This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program", the Trump campaign wrote in an August 2015 immigration platform.
"We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the USA".
The tweet came as a partial government shutdown enters its fourth week amid an impasse over Trump's demand that lawmakers to allot $5.7 billion for construction of his proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, a central 2016 campaign promise.
Chris Johnson's Forecast | Tracking a winter storm threat this weekend
This snow will be light and scattered to start, with the first flakes reaching the metro by midday or early afternoon. By the end of the game it will likely be dry however roads may still be hazardous so be cautious and be smart.
The Trump administration, she said, has stepped up its measures to detect employment-based visa fraud and abuse, but certain non-immigrant visa programmes need reform in order to protect American workers better.
Competition is tough for the temporary visas. The announcement comes as Trump continues to spar with Democrats over his plan for a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
It would also streamline the application process with a new electronic registration system.
Trump campaigned for president on a promise to crack down on immigrants, who he said took jobs away from United States citizens.
US companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.
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.