Monday, December 28, 2009

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Visa reforms on cards in the US?

Another Immigration reform seems to be on cards in the US. According to InformationWeek, a 600-page Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 proposes changes to visas provided to foreign students who get advanced tech degrees in the United States.

It aims to make it easier for foreigners with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from the US universities and who have worked in their field in the US for three years to get green card employment visas.

According to the news report, they would be fast-tracked to green cards, which provide foreigners with permanent residency status, rather than lingering in H-1B visa limbo.

The legislation would also require employers applying for H-1B visas to prove that no US workers are available to fill the positions. It may also bar companies that have recently laid off US workers from engaging in the visa programme.

Foreign students with advanced technology degrees are required to leave the US shortly after graduating from a US university if they're unable to obtain or renew an H-1B visa or get a green card. The annual cap on H-1B visas is 85,000. This includes 65,000 general H-1B visas and 20,000 H-1Bs set aside for foreigners with advanced degrees.


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