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Biden’s proposed immigration reforms will impact H-1B numbers

Posted on March 5, 2021
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H-1B Visa overhaul could be in jeopardy

US president Joe Biden’s wish to boost the number of green cards and increasing the visa options for highly –skilled workersmay be good news for Indian immigrants and businesses in the US that have campaigned for a long time for H-1B visa reforms. But it may take a little longer to implement them considering the fact that the Democrat party senators in the US parliament prefer a piece-meal approach to immigration reforms.

The house members believe that measures such as refugee aid, bringing in agriculture workers and dealing with illegal immigration is more important than increasing immigration opportunities for skilled workers.

Bringing in tech workers

However, tech leaders at companies such as Facebook and Google wish that the US Congress takes steps to change the H-1B visa system so that the demand for skilled workers in IT and software is met which at present is not happening because the annual cap of 65,000 is not enough and there is always a shortfall.

Unfortunately, the focus of Senators in the Congress regarding visa reforms has been on expanding the H-1B visas to cater to business interests. These businesses are limited to the tech industry which other businesses feel is unfair to them and their potential employees.

Immigration reforms

The immigration reforms suggested by the Democrats are not intended to raise the cap on temporary worker visas, rather the focus is on increasing the number of employment based green cards which experts fell will decrease the spotlight on the H-1B visa program.

 The shortfalls of the current immigration system are that it forces international graduates to leave the country taking their skills with them and creates obstacles for skilled workers from countries like India who have to deal with country-based caps when applying for a Green Card.

Proposal to increase the number of skilled worker visas at present may be met with opposition thanks to a struggling economy, opposition from labor unions and a tough stand on immigration.

Republicans are reluctant to give full support to immigration considering Trump’s policy of opposing immigration of every kind. The subsequent steps taken on immigration will focus on the Senate agreeing to all immigration reforms all at once or breaking it down to smaller steps which have their own cause.

Next steps

The next steps will depend on whether the Senate tries to pass immigration reform all at once, where high skilled visa expansion could be included in a package, or by breaking it up into separate bills that would have to stand on their own.

The immigration reforms announced by the Biden administration will take time to be implemented since there are many issues to consider.

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