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H1-B visa reform Bill reintroduced in U.S. Congress

File photo shows people waiting outside the U.S. Consulate in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

A Bill backing key changes in the H1-B visa programme that allows skilled workers from other countries to fill jobs in the U.S. has been reintroduced in Congress by two lawmakers who claim that it will help crack down on its abuse.

The Bill, among other things, increases the minimum salary of H-1B visa to $100,000 per annum and eliminates the Master’s degree exemption.

The legislation, they argued, will help crack down on abuse and ensure that these jobs remain available for the best and brightest talent from around the world.

The Bill comes after a number of companies — Disney, SoCal Edison and others — have come under fire for abusing the programme.

“In order for America to lead again, we need to ensure we can retain the world’s best and brightest talent. At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers,” Issa, one of the lawmakers who initiated the Bill, said.

“The legislation we’re introducing today does both. It will ensure that our valuable high-skilled immigration spots are used by companies when the positions cannot be filled by the existing workforce.”

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 needed them, a media release said.

“Curbing abuse of the H1-B system will protect American jobs and help ensure that visas are available for innovators who need them to maintain a competitive workforce,” Congressman Scott Peters said.

“This bipartisan Bill makes one of the much-needed updates to our high-skilled visa system to level the playing field and help prevent companies from taking advantage of the system to offshore jobs,” he added.

Reshaping immigration is a central tenet of President-elect Donald Trump’s push for companies to invest and hire more in the U.S.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 9:56:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/H1-B-visa-reform-Bill-reintroduced-in-U.S.-Congress/article16991920.ece

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