US: Bipartisan bill introduced in Senate to address loopholes in H1B, L1 visa programs

New York, March 29: To fix America’s broken immigration system, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the US Senate to reform and close loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visa programs.

The H-1B and L-1 visa reform bill, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, will reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, and require more transparency in recruiting foreign workers. US Visa Fees Increase: H-1B, EB-5 visa fees skyrocket under proposed USCIS rule.

The comprehensive overhaul of the H-1B and L-1 visa programs will protect American workers and crack down on foreign outsourcing companies that exploit these visa programs to deprive qualified Americans of high-quality jobs. The two visa programs were created to complement America’s highly skilled workforce.

“Reforming the H-1B and L-1 visa programs is a critical component to fixing America’s broken immigration system. For years, outsourcing companies have used legal loopholes to displace qualified American workers, exploit foreign workers, and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs. Our legislation would fix these broken programs, protect workers and put an end to these abuses,” said Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers in specialty jobs that require theoretical or technical expertise. The L-1 visa is issued to people who are already employed by the company in another country and are merely relocating to an American office. US Visa Rules 2023: Indians can get visa appointments at American embassies abroad, see details here.

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The H-1B and L-1 visa reform bill will require U.S. citizenship and immigration services to prioritize the annual allocation of H-1B visas for the first time, according to a statement released by Grassley’s office.

The new system would ensure that the best and brightest graduate degree STEM students trained in the US prefer an H-1B visa, and it also prioritizes other US graduate degree holders – those who have a high receive wages, and those with valuable skills.

The legislation specifically prohibits the replacement of American workers by H-1B or L-1 visa holders and clarifies that the employment conditions of similarly employed American workers will not be adversely affected by the hiring of an H-1B worker, including an H-1B worker may. 1B Employees placed by another employer in the American employee’s workplace.

Importantly, legislation will crack down on outsourcing companies that import large numbers of these workers for temporary training purposes, only to send the workers back to their home countries to do the same work. The law’s authors said the bill would specifically prohibit companies with more than 50 employees, at least half of whom are H-1B or L-1 holders, from hiring additional H-1B employees.

This move will give the U.S. Department of Labor greater powers to review, investigate and audit employer compliance with program requirements and to sanction fraudulent or abusive conduct.

The legislation is also co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal, Tommy Tuberville, Sherrod Brown, Bill Hagerty and Bernie Sanders. Grassley and Durbin first introduced the legislation in 2007 and have long been advocates of reforming the H-1B and L-1 visas.

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(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on March 29, 2023 5:28 PM IST. For more politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle news and updates, visit our website