Bill targeting H1B visas reintroduced in US Congress

7 January 2017

Indian, especially who wants to work on H1B visa’s were fearing drastic changes in the visa policy after Republican, Donald Trump elected as US President. Donald Trump during his campaign said many times that he wants to crack down on misuse of visas though he didn’t’ gave much detail then.  There is a huge demand for H1B Visas. Last year, the demand was three times more than the annual limit of 85,000.  


Bill backing key changes in the H1-B programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who claim that that it will help crack down on the work visa abuse. The 'Protect and Grow American Jobs Act', which, makes important changes to the eligibility requirements for H1-B visa exemptions was re-introduced on Wednesday by Republican Darrell Issa and Scott Peters - both from California.


The bill, among other things, increases the minimum salary of H-1B visa to $100,000 per annum from $60,000 and eliminate the Master’s Degree exemption. This Bill , as argued by Issa and Peters, will help to crack down on the abuse and ensure that the jobs remain available for Americans.


The bill comes after a number of companies -- Disney, SoCal Edison and others -- have come under fire for abusing the H1B visa programme to replace American workers with those from other countries.


By raising the salary to a level more in-line with the average American salary for these positions, it would help cut down on abuse by removing the profit incentive and ensuring these positions remain available for companies who truly need them, a media release said.


The two lawmakers claimed that the legislation would cut down on abuse by eliminating the master’s degree exemption, which has become abused as foreign workers seeking H1B visas have increasingly sought and obtained low-quality certificates to meet the requirements for an exemption just to qualify for H1B, instead of keeping the positions open for truly high-skilled positions that companies cannot fill domestically. The bill had faced opposition last year in Congress.


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