Washington: An American professional body of engineers has supported the move for tough H-1B visa rules, which if implemented would affect foreign companies, in particular those from India.
"This, along with increasing the number of green cards available to high-skill workers, would strengthen job retention and creation in the United States," IEEE-USA president Marc Apter said in a statement endorsing the "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013," legislation introduced this week by Senators Sherrod Brown and Chuck Grassley.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA is the largest body of electrical and electronics engineers in the US.
The bill "aims to close loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and for visa holders, and require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers," IEEE-USA said.
Among other things, the bill would require all companies to make a good-faith effort to hire Americans first, prohibit employers from advertising only to H-1B visa holders, require that wages paid to H-1B holders and US citizens be essentially the same and prohibit companies from outsourcing visa holders to other companies.
Among other things, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013 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 percent of the employer's workforce are H-1B and L visa holders.
The bill requires an L visa holder to prove that a legitimate business is being set up in the US, modifies the wage requirements and outplacement rules, provides L visa holders with a brochure about their rights, and requires a report on the blanket petition application process.
First Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 13:14