Democrats push legislation to remove H1-B visa caps

Atlanta, GA – Democrats are trying to push legislation to remove numerical caps on H1-B visas, a measure that would allow more foreign citizens to get highly-specialized jobs in the US.

The amendment proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) would remove caps for certain science, technology, engineering, and math(STEM)  degree holders in national security-related fields. As they knew Republicans would reject such legislation if presented on its own, Democrats practically hid the amendment in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which must be passed by August.

There’s a lot of debate on how many foreign workers are in the US on non-immigrant H1-B visas at the moment.

According to the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H-1B authorized-to-work population is approximately 583,420.

However, other sources say the current visa worker system has brought 1.5 million foreign contract workers into the country and many of them have jobs in Fortune 500 companies.

Many corporations use the H-1B visa program to find highly-qualified foreign STEM degree holders, especially from India and other Asian countries. There is no denying that some American companies prioritize foreign workers over US graduates as the former will accept lower wages.

As for the foreigners willing to take these jobs, even if they’re offered less, $2-3,000 is a lot of money in many Asian countries. At the same time, even if H1-B are non-immigrant visas, simply coming to the US and working there legally for a given period opens up a citizenship pathway.

While the amendment had received little opposition in the House of Representatives, Republicans will try to block it in the Senate.

All you need to know about H1-B visas

The H1-B visa is also known as a Person in Specialty Occupation Visa. According to the US Department of Labor, “a specialty occupation is one that requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.”

Technically, the H1-B visa program is meant to help US employers who cannot find qualified American personnel to fill a vacancy.

The main requirement for an H1-B visa is the possession of an advanced educational degree such as:

  • 4 four year Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent degrees)
  • A Master’s or Doctoral Degree
  • Advanced training or vocational skills 

Foreign workers can come to the US on an H1-B visa to work as IT specialists, architects, accountants, professors, doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc.

H1-B Visa Cap

The applications for H1-B visas open every year in spring. USCIS approves around 65,000 applications per year starting from October 1st to September 30th of the following year.

The process of applying for an H1-B work visa is initiated by a US-based employer who has an open job position and they cannot find a qualified American employee for it.

The employer receives applications from various candidates and if the requirements for the job are fulfilled by a foreign employee, then the US H1B visa process is initiated.

The H1-B visa is initially valid for three years and can then be extended for another three years. After 6 years, the immigrant must return to his or her native country, but many manage to find other ways to remain in the US legally.

If you’re an immigrant who needs help with an H1-B visa or you want to get your papers in order, schedule an appointment with a trustworthy lawyer at Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC in Atlanta or their South Georgia office and get legal assistance as soon as possible.

Contact info:

Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC

365 Northridge Road

Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Tel : (404) 816-8611

Source: Department of Labor – H1-B Visa Program

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