"H-1B holders in the United States can be rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship", the President wrote on Twitter on Friday, amidst a partial shutdown of the federal government and negotiations to end it.
President Trump vowed in a tweet on Friday to make changes to the H-1B visa program in the USA, including offering a potential path to citizenship for visa holders.
Mr. Trump has expressed openness to a broader immigration overhaul, but has insisted that he first wants funding for a concrete or steel wall or barrier, along with funding for technology and personnel to handle the situation at the border.
While Trump typically depicts undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through Mexico as criminals and terrorists, he frequently praises those applying for H-1Bs, who must hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
The dispute, which pits the White House against Democrats in Congress, has led to one of the longest government shutdowns in U.S. history. The change would also prioritize H-1B applications for workers with advanced degrees from American universities.
The Republican president has often said he wanted an immigration system that favoured educated or highly skilled people.
What's changing: Trump may be referring to a proposed rule introduced in December.
The president's unexpected outreach towards foreign guest workers came amid a furious debate over immigration reform and the need for a southern border wall, which he says is need to staunch illegal immigrants, while pledging to smoothen the path for legal immigration.
The cap on the visas has frustrated tech giants, who rely on the H-1B program to bring in skilled workers due to a shortage in the United States. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the US government that is now in its 21st day.
Trump's major announcement on H-1B visas - through twitter, without any further details - comes as part of his known preference to attract and retain best talent in the US.
Silicon Valley and India have both pushed hard for a more generous visa system for skilled foreign employees, saying they are indispensable in powering the tech industry, but critics charge that native-born Americans should have priority for the generally well-paying jobs.
Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers that the U.S. should "endeavour to select the very best" among the applicants under the H-1B foreign work visa programme.