Washington : The Trump administration is working on a comprehensive immigration reform, the Wh- ite House said but declined comment on if changes would be made in the H-1B work visa programme, popular among Indian IT professionals, before April 3.

The White House was responding to a question on possible changes in the H-1B visas through an executive order before April 3 when the US Citizenship and Immigration Services starts accepting application for next fiscal beginning October 1, 2017.

“I think we’ve talked about immigration in the past I think there’s an entire comprehensive process that’s being looked at in both in terms of how we’re preventing illegal immigration and then what we’re doing about legal immigration, whether it’s H-1Bs or K-1 or other visas that exist within the system,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.

“There is an entire look being taken with respect to the visa programme and, and we will probably… have more for you as we… as we get through the system,” Spicer said.

Meanwhile, five US universities later this week will launch Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) programmes which are aimed at retaining foreign-born foun- ders through the H-1B visa. These universities are Northwestern University, Loyola University, DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology. These universities would take advantage of provision of H-1B in which higher educational institutes are exempted from the Congressional mandated 85,000 visas in this category. Several other universities have launched similar programmes.

San Jose State University, University of Missouri-St Louis, the University of Alaska in Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University are also creating similar programmes.

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to increase oversight of our H-1B and L-1 visa programmes that are used widely by Indian tech companies.                   PTI

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