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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

World

US may double H-1B visas this year
PTI
March 21, 2013
First Published: 14:06 IST(21/3/2013)
Last Updated: 02:19 IST(22/3/2013)

The number of H-1B visas issued by the US could double under a proposed Senate immigration plan which would also remove the cap on the green card, a move likely to benefit Indian-American technology professionals but not the Indian companies.

The Senate immigration plan would dramatically increase the number of high-skilled foreign workers allowed into the country and give permanent legal status to an unlimited number of students who earn graduate degrees from US universities in science, technology, engineering or math, Washington Post reported quoting people familiar with the negotiations.

The plan, if passed by both chambers of the US Congress - House of Representatives and the Senate - would meet one of the major demands of top American technology companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft who argue that they are not able to find enough qualified workers in the US.

Given that India has the maximum qualified such professionals in the world, Indian-American technology professionals are likely to benefit from this.

But Indian companies are unlikely to benefit from this immigration reform, if some of the legislations introduced in the Congress are passed, including the one which was introduced by senator Chick Grassley this week.

The Grassley resolution among other things ensures that an H-1B application filed by an employer that employs 50 or more US workers will not be accepted unless the employer attests that less than 50% of the employer's workforces are H-1B and L visa holders.

"The agreement would be a major victory for the tech industry, which has backed an intense lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill in recent months arguing that Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other companies are having trouble finding qualified workers because of visa limits," the daily said.

"The expansion of the visas, known as H1Bs, is one element of talks among a bipartisan group of eight senators, whose legislation is expected to serve as the basis for a deal between Congress and the White House to retool the immigration system.

"The number of visas available would approximately double from the current limit of 65,000 per year," The Washington Post said.


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