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DHS Proposes H-1B Visa Changes

The Biden administration unveiled several proposals earlier this week that would alter the way work visas are granted, The Hill reports.

What’s going on: “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the changes ‘to modernize and improve the efficiency of the H-1B program, add benefits and flexibilities, and improve integrity measures’ in the Federal Register.”

  • The suggested changes to the program—which is geared “toward specialty occupations [such as] doctors, engineers and journalists … who are foreign nationals with U.S.-based jobs”—loosen some requirements while tightening others.
  • Among the amendments: the addition of language requiring an applicant’s job to be “directly related” to their course of study in higher education, and a way for entrepreneurs to self-sponsor.

Why it’s important: “The H-1B in principle is granted for three years and renewable for another three, after which beneficiaries can either move to another status, such as a green card … ”

  • Meanwhile, manufacturing needs workers—to the tune of 4 million over the next decade, according to a joint study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate.

The last word: “The NAM has long supported the H-1B visa program,” said NAM Director of Domestic Policy Julia Bogue. “We have advocated for increasing the number of H-1B visas and streamlining the green card application for H-1B workers hired in permanent positions, as well as other reforms that can be found in the NAM’s immigration policy document, ‘A Way Forward.’”

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