Biden Announces Major Changes To U.S. Visas

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Monday, the Biden administration introduced a series of proposals that would alter how visas were granted and the rights of foreign nationals.

The changes published in the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aim to modernize the H-1B program and increase the available benefits and “integrity measures” of the program. However, many researchers and advocates have argued that not all the proposals are as effective as they should be.

Cato Institute’s associate director of immigration studies, David Bier, referred to the new regulations as a “modest attempt” to improve the program and have it work slightly more efficiently than currently.

The regulations would liberalize some of the program’s aspects, but they would also make certain regulations stricter, which could make the application process harder. H-1B is specifically directed at those who are employed in specialty occupations, including journalists, doctors, and engineers who have jobs based in the U.S. This visa is also often given to those who have graduated from U.S. universities and can serve as a way for those who studied in the United States to become naturalized citizens or get permanent residency eventually.

Generally, the H-1B visa is given for three years and allows those with it to renew it for another three years; from there, they must move to a different visa status.

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