Skilled Worker visa hits a roadblock – What you need to know

H-1B Visa overhaul could be in jeopardy

Lately, US President Joe Biden has made many moves to improve the prospects related to the H-1B visa issue. Biden’s plans for US immigration are in favor of increasing the number of green cards. It’s also for giving better avenues for foreign workers who are high-skilled and qualified for jobs in various sectors.

The move was welcomed by the business community in the USA who benefitted from the reforms made to the H-1B visa program and similar programs. But presently, there’s a possibility that the increase in visas for high-skilled foreigners could be side lined in 2021. This will happen in case Democrats make a decision to overhaul US immigration. This may be done via a series of small bills rather than going by the one sweeping move made by the US President.

The support for a piecemeal approach to immigration by Democrats will make way for the implementation of more popular measures. These include measures to help agricultural workers, refugees, and those who were brought to the USA illegally as children. This could lead to sidestepping on the less popular measures. Such measures include the increase in immigration visas for foreign skilled workers.

The attempts by the heads of tech leaders like Facebook and Google to expand and update the visa system of H-1B visas are now facing an unprecedented bipartisan skepticism. There’s definitely a need for a strong advocate on Capitol Hill to get the H-1B and other work visas through.

It has been observed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio that passing a reform of the Skilled Worker visa during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will be very difficult. Robert Menendez, the Democrat Senator, has also stated his opinion. He thinks that any more foreign worker visas would get support only it’s part of a broader bill. Such a bill must include a provision for citizenship for immigrants who are undocumented as yet.

The new visas in consideration must cater to both high-tech workers as well as farmworkers. In the current form, the measures taken in this direction are not good enough to avoid leaving the reforms for workers with high skills at risk. As the industries are trying to get the visa caps expanded, the workers’ rights group is against tying the visas to a specific employer or group of employers.

So, as of now without expanding skilled-worker visas without a broader proposal it seems unlikely that Biden’s work visa improvements are going to be implemented smoothly. This means that H-1B visa improvements under the Biden administration will have to be followed closely for the developments in its implementation.

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