The bill proposes to reduce the number of visas available by 15,000. It would also require the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the allocation of these 70,000 H-1B visas to foreign workers based on their salary.
Nelson said the measure will help ensure that the H-1B visa programme is once again being used as it was originally intended: to attract foreign workers with highly specialised skills not found among the available U.S. workforce. Last month, Nelson and a handful of his Senate colleagues filed a separate piece of legislation to reform the H-1B visa programme.
Specifically, it would prohibit any employer from replacing a U.S. worker with an H-1B visa holder, a media release said. It would also require employers to prove that they first tried to recruit American workers prior to hiring an H-1B visa holder and bar companies that employ more than 50 people from hiring any additional H-1B employees if more than half of their employees are already H-1B visa holders, it added. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields.