Bill proposes to use FY 2020 – 2021 employment-based visas
On Thursday, September 23, three Republican senators introduced a new immigration bill called the “Preserving Employment Visas Act”, which seeks to issue unused employment-based visas during FY (Fiscal Year) 2020 and 2021.
The Senators propose to allow the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) to issue unused employment-based visas from the annual cap during FY (October – September) 2020 and 2021.
To give a specific example, one of the business immigration programs most commonly used by American or US-based companies to hire skilled personnel from abroad is the H-1B visa, which is available to highly qualified foreign workers in sectors such as science, technology, engineering and research.
Annually, the USCIS offers a total of 65,000 H-1B visas. However, in the midst of the health crisis under the Trump administration and due to the alarming backlog of immigration cases nationwide, this agency did not issue the number of H-1B visas available during FY 2020 and FY 2021.
As such, the senators are proposing to reuse these H-1B visas to allow local companies to hire highly qualified foreign workers without having to jump through bureaucratic hoops.
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This bill comes in the midst of workforce shortages
The US is facing a rather alarming workforce shortage in multiple sectors of the local market, especially in areas such as technology, computer science and health.
One might think that this happened because the global health crisis paused international transit almost entirely, but that is not really the case. In fact, this workforce shortage has been present for several years and goes back even before the global pandemic.
Therefore, the immigration bill introduced by the Republican senators could strengthen the economy of certain companies that rely heavily on the presence of foreign workers to meet market demands.
You may also be interested in: Labor Shortages Could Decrease Through Immigration Reform
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