US Chambers seeks to double H-1B quota

Lalit K Jha

Washington

The powerful US Chambers of Commerce has launched a massive campaign to address the acute shortage of skilled and professional wor­k­force in America, prominent among which includes urging the Biden administration and Congress to double the number of H-1B visas and eliminate per-country quota for the Green Card.

The most sought-after H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology firms depend on it to hi­re tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The demand to increase the H-1B quota, which currently is at 65,000 and another 20,000 for those who have higher studies from the US, is part of the America Works campaign launched by the US Chambers of Commerce early this month.

“As we stand on the cusp of what could be a great American resurgence, a worker shortage is holding back job creators across the country,” US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark said.

Through the America Works Agenda, the US Chamber is calling for doubling the cap on employment-based visas, doubling the quota on H-1B and H-2B visas and implementing other reforms to the legal immigration system to help employers meet the demand for high-demand jobs in labour-strapped sectors. It is also calling for growing federal investments in employer-led job education and training programmes and expanding access to childcare for working parents.

“We must arm workers with the skills they need, we must remove barriers that are keeping too many Americans on the sidelines, and we must recruit the very best from around the world to help fill high-demand jobs,” Clark said.

The Chamber called for changes to be made on the issuance of employment-based immigrant visas including doubling the cap on employment-based immigrant visas from 140,000 a year to 280,000 a year.

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