Proposed H-1B Visa Reforms to Prioritize Workers with Higher Levels of Education in STEM Fields


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 31, 2023 01:41 PM IST

In a bid to reduce the exploitation of foreign workers while also ensuring that qualified Americans are not sidelined, a group of influential lawmakers have proposed reforms to the H-1B and L-1 visa programmes.

Proposed H-1B Visa Reforms to Prioritize Workers with Higher Levels of Education in STEM Fields

Overhauling the H-1B and L-1 visa policies in the US, influential lawmakers have joined hands in proposing bipartisan legislation for the same. According to reports, the reforms are expected to increase transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers while reducing abuse and fraud within the immigration system.

H-1B visas are commonly issued to foreign workers with specialised knowledge by US companies for employment purposes. Meanwhile, the L-1 visas have been for professionals already employed in a company but are being relocated to a US office.

The lawmakers include Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, with co-sponsors including Bernie Sanders, Tommy Tuberville, Richard Blumenthal and Sherrod Brown. As per the reforms, new wages, recruitment and attestation requirements will be implemented for employers hiring H-1B and L-1 workers. In addition to this, the reforms also emphasise employers to post the H-1B job opening on the Department of Labour (DOL) website.

Also Read: Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Allowed to Work in the United States

The reforms also place importance on the issuance of H-1B visas for workers with higher levels of education, specifically in STEM fields. Moreover, the proposal also sees amendments to the definition of “speciality occupation” which would, as per reforms, require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Among the objectives of the proposed reforms, the legislation also aims to rework the L-1 non-immigrant programmes. The reformed L-1 regulations would see new time limits as well as evidentiary requirements for petitions from the “new office” while also requiring “cooperation from the Department of State in verifying foreign affiliates".

Also Read: 68% Rise in Indians Studying Abroad: More Than 7.5 Lakh Chose UK, US, Canada in 2022

The objectives of the reforms can be categorised as two-fold, i.e. stop companies from exploiting legal loopholes that replace qualified American workers with foreign workers and stop companies from paying sub-par wages while subjecting them to exploitative working conditions. Grassley commented that the reforms place American workers on priority, while, also ensuring fairness for all workers through the programmes.

In the recent tech layoffs that took place in the US, a large number of Indians lost their jobs at tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. As per estimates, around 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November ‘22. Experts suggest that 30-40% of the laid-off professionals were of Indian nationality, many of whom were working on H-1B and L-1 visas.

Source: Livemint

Planning Your Higher Studies in USA?

You can share this post!

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.