Congress Proposes Legislation to Expand Foreign Technology Worker Visas

By Tracey E. Schelmetic January 29, 2013

It’s ironic that during a time of relatively high and stagnant unemployment, many companies are reporting difficulties in hiring certain types of employees, but in recent years, this has been the case. The nation has experienced a particularly acute shortage of skilled high-tech workers. Traditionally, companies have filled in the gap using what’s known as H-1B workers.

An H-1B is a non-immigrant visa created under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. It allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specialty occupations, including high technology. If an H-1B worker quits or is dismissed from his or her sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer willing to sponsor another H-1B or leave the U.S.


Image via Shutterstock

The problem with H-1B visas is that they are not unlimited, and many companies are having difficulty obtaining them to fill in their high-tech employment gaps. Congress hopes to address this shortage this week with the introduction of new legislation.

The bill, called the Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Squared, proposes to significantly increase the H-1B visa cap for skilled foreign workers and allow foreign graduates with advanced technical degrees from U.S. universities to stay in the U.S., The Hill is reporting today

The measure may ultimately fall under the umbrella of larger immigration reform legislation currently being drafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators. The eight members unveiled a set of principles for the comprehensive framework on Monday. It included a measure calling for "attracting and keeping the world's best and brightest."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), one of the co-sponsors of the H1-B legislation, said it "could easily be" included in the working group's comprehensive legislation.

"That's something to work on going forward, but we thought this issue is so important to moving the economy forward [that] we wanted to get started on this right away and put some meat on the bone of what they're talking about," Klobuchar told The Hill.

Technology companies, such as Microsoft, have already expressed their approval of the bill.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Rising Mobile Broadband Accessibility and Usage Impacting Global Social and Economic Growth

By: Laura Stotler    5/28/2015

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are having a direct impact on social and economic development, according to interesting new research…

Read More

Avago Technologies Acquisition of Broadcom: Let The Chips Fall Where They May

By: Peter Bernstein    5/28/2015

With a combined valuation of roughly $77 Billion and revenues of $15 Billion once the transaction closes the new Avago will have the human and technic…

Read More

Digital Ad Viewability: The New Metric for Monetization

By: Tara Seals    5/28/2015

Verizon Communications raised a few eyebrows earlier this month when it announced plans to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion. It seemed a lot to pay just t…

Read More

Future Watch Apps May Surprise You

By: Mike Russo    5/27/2015

If there's one thing that's abundantly clear about the Apple Watch, it's that this isn't your grandpa's timepiece. Oh, it tells time, sure. The rest i…

Read More

Why Apple iOS is Dominating Google's Android

By: Rob Enderle    5/27/2015

Apple's iOS platform is kicking Google Android's butt all over the Smartphone playground. This battle has been fascinating to watch because it seemed …

Read More