U.S. Congressman Introduces Bill to Double the Available H-1B Visas

U.S. Congressman Introduces Bill to Double the Available H-1B Visas
August 4, 2023

A United States lawmaker recently made a significant attempt to address the demand for skilled workers. The proposed legislation would double the annual number of foreign workers allowed to obtain H-1B visas. H-1B visas help employers hire non-immigrant aliens in “specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.”

This legislation would help employers struggling to obtain U.S. workers with the necessary skills and abilities. It would accomplish this by “authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States.”

How It Started

This decision comes after an association approached lawmakers. A collection of small and mid-sized IT companies primarily owned by Indian Americans pushed for lawmakers to double the H-1B quota. The current quota is 65,000 to address the significant shortage of highly skilled U.S. workers.

Some of these members appeared at the capitol on Congressional advocacy day. They intended to discuss their concerns about the country’s shortage of highly skilled workers. In addition, the group also claimed that the lack of workers is impacting businesses and the country as a whole.

This association also wants lawmakers to invest more in STEM education to develop a high-skilled workforce. According to the association, the Act would make the U.S. more competitive by providing more skilled workers to fill jobs. They also suggested more funding for elementary and secondary schools for science, technology, engineering, and math education.

The Logic Behind It

The group considers the U.S. a technology leader and emphasizes the need to maintain this prominent position. They also recognize the need to foster a robust startup ecosystem in the country. However, the association noted a considerable gap between the many open positions and adequately skilled workers. 

As such, they suggested developing high-skilled workers in this country and through high-skilled immigration. The association also believes the U.S. must attract international developing talent while developing talent within the country. This logic led to the request to increase the annual cap for H-1B workers from 65,000 to 130,000.

Increasing the H-1B cap could allow more employers to obtain skilled workers. Regardless of the cap, employers who hire H-1B workers must remember to complete their employment eligibility verifications (Form I-9). Due to the many documents H-1B employees may present, this process has proven difficult. 

The best way to ensure completed Form I-9s is to use an I-9 management system. This tool guides employers through the process, ensuring they have Form I-9s correctly filled out. It also safely stores the forms and related documents.

Increase your hiring and verification efficiency today with I-9 Compliance automation.