STEM Education: US lawmaker moves bill to double H-1B visas: Here are the ‘reasons’ behind his proposal – Times of India

STEM Education: US lawmaker moves bill to double H-1B visas: Here are the 'reasons' behind his proposal - Times of India

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A US lawmaker has introduced legislation proposing to double the annual intake of H-1B visas. The bill has been introduced by Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Indian-descent Democratic lawmaker. He has proposed to increased the annual quota of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 130,000. Every year, 85,000 workers are hired under this visa. Of these, 65,000 workers are hired from abroad and 20,000 are foreign students enrolled in US colleges and universities. Krishnamoorthi is calling the legislation the HIRE Act, short for High-Skilled Immigration Reform for Employment. The legislation also proposes to address the shortage of skilled workers at home here in the US by funding STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) streams in schools.

How Krishnamoorthi has reasoned the expansion
In a press announcement later, Krishnamoorthi said that the expansion of the H-1B visa programme will help American companies get workers for direly needed positions. “Creating jobs and building the economy of the future requires us to lead the way in technology by developing our domestic workforce while drawing the best talent from around the world,” said Krishnamoorthi. “That is why I am proud to introduce the HIRE Act to increase investments in elementary and secondary school STEM education while doubling the number of available H-1B visas from 65,000 to 130,000. By investing in our homegrown talent while attracting the best minds from around the world, we can create better-paying jobs and harness the technology of tomorrow,” he added.

Earlier this week, ITServe, an association of more than 2,100 small and mid-size IT companies in the US, mostly owned and operated by Indian Americans urged lawmakers to double the H-1B quota from the current 65,000. More than 240 members of the association converged in the US capitol for the first-ever in-person Congressional advocacy day during which they plan to reach out to Congressmen and Senators to brief them about the massive shortage of highly skilled workforce in the US. They said that the shortage of highly skilled workforce is impacting their businesses and the American advantage in general.
What is H-1B programme
The H-1B program allows companies and other employers in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.



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