The legislation which seeks reforms of most popular H-1B visa program and altering the wage prerequisites had been introduced in the US Senate with an intention to check the abuse of system; it is the move that can have implications for the Indian professionals working in the US.
The bill was introduced by the Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley, and it was also co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal and Bill Nelson.
Grassley said that the H-1B visa program was never meant for replacing the qualified US workers, but it was instead planned for filling the gaps in employment areas with high specialization that could not be filled by the Americans.
He also said that there is sense of urgency for the people of America who are losing their jobs to workers with fewer skills who comes at fewer wages on the visa program that had got away from its original purpose. He also stressed that the reform of H-1B program might be the priority.
The bill will prohibit firms from hiring the H-1B employees if the hire over 50 individuals and over 50% of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
The Senators said that this rule will crackdown on the outsourcing firms that import a large number of H-1B and L-1 workers for small training periods, and then send the workers back to their home country for doing the work of Americans.
The bill will also give the Labour Department the improved reviewing authority, investigation authority, authority to audit the employer compliance and authority to penalize the fraudulent or the abusive conduct.
The bill said that the working conditions for the related employed US workers might not be affected by the employing of the H-1B worker, including the ones who has been placed by another employer at the US worker’s job site.
It explicitly restricts the replacement of US workers by H-1B or L-1 visa holders. This reform bill would be prioritizing the yearly allocation of H-1B visas for the first time.
Furthermore, the bill also include establishing the wage floor for the L- 1 workers, permitting the authority to the Homeland Security Department for investigating, auditing and enforcing the compliance with the L-1 program prerequisites.