ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Labour market access
On June 27, 2013 the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved the 'Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM (SKILLS) Visas Act' (H.R. 2131) by a vote of 20-14. The bill is one of several individual measures that the House of Representatives has approved in its approach to immigration reform legislation. The SKILLS Visas Act would reform the approach to visa distribution, promoting immigration among aliens with advanced education and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), creation of a new entrepreneur visa program for those able to meet certain US job-creation requirements, strengthen the visa program for investors, and make other changes. The total number of visas would not be increased, but the current diversity visa lottery program would be repealed and its visas reoriented toward the new or expanded programs. Among other things, the bill would allocate up to 55,000 green cards a year for employers to petition for foreign graduates of US universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields, increase the H-1B visa cap for high-skilled workers to 155,000 from the current 65,000 and double the special pool of visas for foreign graduates of US universities from 20,000 to 40,000. It would also allocate up to 10,000 green cards a year for alien entrepreneurs who can attract investment from venture-capital firms to establish businesses that will create at least five jobs or have already created five jobs over 10 years through the E-2 treaty investor program.
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