The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a rule that would grant an unlimited number of permanent work permits to high-skilled foreign workers.
Under current law, the H-1B visa program allows employers to petition for high-skilled foreign workers when they claim that they can’t find an American worker to fill the job. Congress has established an annual limit of 65,000 H-1B visas per year. The H-1B visa lasts for three years, but employers may renew the visa once, allowing the foreign worker to stay for up to six years.
Before the end of the six-year period, employers will often apply for an employment-based green card on behalf of the H-1B worker. These employment-based green cards (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), however, are subject to both annual and per country caps.
The proposed rule would issue a work permit to foreign workers who are in line to receive an employment-based green card, but have yet to receive it because of the annual limits or per country caps, allowing them to stay and work in the United States indefinitely. This rule would allow the Obama Administration to increase the number of work permits issued to high-skilled foreign workers above the levels established by Congress.
“The President’s nearly 200-page rule bypasses federal immigration caps, increasing significantly the number of foreign nationals authorized to work in the country above the limits set by Congress. These lower-paid foreign workers will be able to take jobs in technology firms, neighborhood pharmacies, energy companies, local schools, public administration, civil engineering, and innumerable other professions both sought and filled by millions of Americans. Whether young American graduates seeking that first job, or longtime workers seeking that well-earned promotion, countless Americans will now find their chosen careers in jeopardy.”
— Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest
The Department of Homeland Security has published the proposed rule on the Federal Register, and the public comment period is open until Feb. 29, 2016. DHS must respond to each public comment submitted on the new rule. Please use the sample comments to the right and submit your own comment in opposition to this proposed rule.The comment period has closed