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California work visa: Bill could help skilled workers remain

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2012 | Employment Immigration

Immigrants across California and the rest of the nation often struggle to obtain a work visa in this country. Even with valuable qualifications that companies are looking for, it can be difficult for them obtain the status they need to remain in the country. This is because federal law requires a cap on work visa numbers in the United States. The cap is extremely low, virtually ensuring that the yearly quota for applications is filled within just a few days.

This prevents highly skilled workers from coming here to assist in the workplace. Many immigrants have the qualifications that companies require here in America. Qualified workers just coming out of school are needed to help fill a void in certain career fields, but it can be difficult to obtain good workers with the current laws. A recent study shows that this country will be short of just over a quarter-million workers who possess advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees in just a few years.

Both sides of the political spectrum appear to recognize the need for such highly skilled workers in this country and support the push to raise the cap on work visas. A new bill recently introduced in Congress would allow up to 50,000 foreign graduate students to remain in the country for five years, provided that they earned their degree in this country and they perform work in a STEM field. Once they are finished with the five-year requirement, they would receive permanent residence and receive the opportunity for naturalization.

Such a bill could help grant graduate students and highly skilled workers the opportunity to work in their career field and remain in this country. The way things stand now, many of these educated professionals would be left out in the cold. If the bill passes, it could present a great opportunity for California immigrants who wish to work here and hope to gain permanent resident status.

Source: Political Fiber, “International Students Struggle for Visas,” Isaac Gwin, Oct. 10, 2012