Sunday, 24 May, 12.15 am The Hans India

H1B visas for those educated in US only

Washington: A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a legislation in both the chambers of the US Congress proposing major reforms in skilled non-immigrant visa programmes by giving priority to US-educated foreign technology professionals in issuing H1B work visas.

The H1B and L1 Visa Reform Act, as introduced in House of Representatives and Senate, will require US Citizenship and Immigration Services to prioritize for the first time the annual allocation of H1B visas.

The new system would ensure that the best and brightest students being educated in the United States receive preference for an H1B visa, including advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills, proponents of this major legislative reforms said Friday.

In the Senate, it was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin. In the House of Representatives, it was introduced by Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Paul Gosar, Ro Khanna, Frank Pallone and Lance Gooden.

The legislation reinstates Congress's original intent in the H1B and L1 visa programmes by increasing enforcement, modifying wage requirements and securing protections for both American workers and visa holders, the lawmakers said.The legislation, among other things, explicitly prohibits the replacement of American workers by H1B or L1 visa holders, clarifying that working conditions of similarly employed American workers may not be adversely affected by the hiring of an H1B worker, including H1B workers who have been placed by another employer at the American worker's worksite. Specifically, the Bill would prohibit companies with more than 50 employees, of which at least half are H1B or L1 holders, from hiring additional H1B employees.

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