A new bipartisan bill was recently introduced in the US House of Representatives aimed at utilizing the employment-based visas issued every year as per the current federal immigration law.
The Eliminating Backlogs Act of 2023 was introduced by Larry Bucshon from the GOP and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi from the Democratic Party to add flexibility in the utilization of the existing allotted work visas to help fulfill the needs of employers. In addition to this, the bill would solve the issue of visa backlogs while ensuring that visas granted according to the current federal immigration law are adequately used.
Krisnamoorthi stated that while the high-skilled immigration system of the US proves valuable in attracting talented individuals from other countries, thousands of visas go unused due to the current law capping the number of employment-based visas available on the basis of the country of origin of workers.
He further added that the legislation is introduced to stop discrimination based on the workers’ origin of the country in high-skilled immigration. Plus, it will ensure that every allotted visa is used to attract skilled workers from all over the world to strengthen the economy of the US while creating jobs and investing in the domestic workforce.
According to Bucshon, the current federal immigration law annually allocates a specific number of visas for skilled individuals, including engineers and doctors, to help meet the economic demands of the country. There is a fixed annual limit for international workers with a specific set of skills and experience to seek employment in the US. As a result, each country is entitled to receive only 7% of the allotted employment-based slots every year.
However, unexpected delays and bureaucratic policies have kept thousands of visas from being properly utilized, even though the country is in dire need of more skilled workers. Bucshon further said that the new legislation would develop an immigration system that rewards legal applicants and fuels the economic growth of the country.
Media reports indicate that US immigration officials failed to allocate nearly 9100 employment-based visas in the fiscal year 2020 and more than 66000 in the fiscal year 2021.
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