The Biden administration is proposing changes to the H-1B foreign worker program to improve efficiency by streamlining eligibility, providing more flexibility to F-1 students, entrepreneurs and nonprofit employees, and better conditions for others to ensure immigrant workers.
The rules, expected to be published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on October 23, were proposed without changing the 60,000 congressionally mandated limit on the number of such visas the U.S. issues each year exhibit.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made the proposed rules public for stakeholders to provide their comments and feedback, saying the proposed changes to the rules aim to streamline eligibility requirements, improve program efficiency, and provide greater benefits to employers and employees and offer flexibility. and strengthening integrity measures.
The H-1B program helps U.S. employers hire the employees they need to meet their business needs and remain competitive in the global marketplace, while complying with all U.S. legal worker protection standards.
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said the Biden-Harris administration’s priority is to attract talent from around the world, reduce excessive burdens on employers and prevent fraud and abuse in the immigration system.
DHS determined that the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, which the law defines as occupations that require highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or higher degree in the relevant field or field equivalent degree, DHS said The proposed rule would change the way USCIS conducts the selection process for H-1B registration to reduce the possibility of abuse and fraud.
Under current procedures, the more entries made on behalf of an individual, the higher the chances of that person being selected in a lottery. Under the new proposal, every person who has submitted a registration on their behalf would be included in the selection process once, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf, DHS said in a statement.
“This would increase the chances that a legitimate registration will be selected by significantly reducing or eliminating the advantage of submitting multiple registrations for the same beneficiary just to increase the chances of selection. “In addition, it could also give beneficiaries more choice between legitimate job offers because any registrant who has filed a registration for a selected beneficiary would have the opportunity to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary,” it said.
Under the proposed rule, the criteria for professional positions would be revised to reduce confusion between the public and adjudicators and to clarify that a position may admit a range of degrees, although there must be a direct connection between the required degree areas. and the tasks of the position.
The proposed rule specifies that judges should generally defer to a prior decision when no underlying facts have changed at the time of a new filing.
Under the proposed rule, certain exemptions from the H-1B cap would be expanded to certain nonprofit or government research organizations, as well as to beneficiaries not directly employed by a qualified organization.
DHS would also provide some flexibility to students on F-1 visas if students wish to change their status to H-1B. Additionally, the department would establish new H-1B eligibility requirements for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Strengthening integrity measures and changing the selection process would reduce abuse and fraud in the H-1B registration process by prohibiting affiliates from filing multiple registrations for the same beneficiary. The rule would also codify USCIS’s authority to conduct site visits and clarify that refusal to conduct site visits may result in denial or revocation of the petition, DHS said.
Indian-American Ajay Bhutoria, a leading immigration reform advocate, welcomed the proposed rule “modernizing H1B requirements, providing flexibility in the F-1 program and program improvements impacting other nonimmigrant workers.”
These proposed changes represent a significant step toward streamlining our immigration system and making it more accessible to highly skilled professionals and students from around the world, Bhutria said.
“The proposed reform plan reflects a thoughtful approach to addressing some long-standing problems in the H-1B visa program, including providing more flexibility for F-1 students and improving conditions for other nonimmigrant workers. We appreciate DHS’s commitment to fostering an environment that helps attract global talent and maintain the competitiveness of American industry,” Bhutoria said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Source : www.ndtv.com