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Employment immigration may see changes proposed by White House

Immigration has been a divisive issue in our country, including right here in New York. Those who support immigration say that it makes the United States better in many ways, while there are critics who say that abuses of our immigration system run rampant. President Trump recently mentioned potential changes to the H-1B program that grants temporary visas related to employment immigration. Many people on both sides of the debate are wondering exactly what those proposed changes will mean.

H-1B visas are frequently used by companies here in the U.S. to hire workers in specialty fields like mathematics, medicine or technology. These graduate-level, temporary employees can be sponsored for legal permanent residency by their employer, which can lead to full citizenship. The program is not without its opponents, who say that foreign outsourcing companies are misusing them.

Trump recently tweeted about his plans to change the H-1B program that he claims will simplify the process and provide a path to citizenship, though the program already does this. According to a representative of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the percentage of H-1B beneficiaries will be increased by 16 percent. He also stated that application process will be simpler, using electronic registration; however, critics worry that the system won't be ready for the next immigration lottery later this year.

No matter what changes may be on the horizon for the H-1B program, questions about employment immigration may remain for many here in New York. Consulting an attorney with a background in immigration law may be the best decision for those who are interested in utilizing the program. If their ultimate goal is to become a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, that dream is still within reach.

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