International students in the US to get priority in non-immigrant visa

But, it could adversely affect the Indian IT firms applying H-1B  and L-1 visas.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley and Deputy Democratic Leader Dick Durban have announced that they will introduce legislation to prioritize visa allocation for skilled foreign workers who have studied from US universities.

“Congress created these programs to complement America’s high-skilled workforce, not replace it,” Grassley said.  “Unfortunately, some companies are trying to exploit the programs by cutting American workers for cheaper labor.  We need programs dedicated to putting American workers first. When skilled foreign workers are needed to meet the demands of our labor market, we must also ensure that visa applicants who honed their skills at American colleges and universities are a priority over the importation of more foreign workers.  Our bill takes these steps to ensure that the programs work for Americans and skilled foreign workers alike.”.

However, the bill would adversely affect the Indian IT firms that apply for bulk of H-1B and L-1 visas. US-based companies that have more than 50 employees, where half of them are on H-1B or L-1 visas, would be prohibited from hiring more H-1B employees.

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“Reforming the H-1B and L-1 visa programs is a critical component of fixing our broken immigration system and must be included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation,” Durbin said. “For years, foreign outsourcing companies have used loopholes in the laws to displace qualified American workers and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs.  The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would end these abuses and protect American and foreign workers from exploitation.  I thank Senator Grassley for partnering with me on this important bipartisan legislation.”

The bill, if passed, would enable the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to prioritize the yearly allocation of H-1B visas. This would be the first time that the USCIS would give preference in allotting H-1B visas.

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