Friday, February 3, 2012

Obama Administration Announces Initiatives to Attract More Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers

------repost from

The Department of Homeland Security announced a series of reforms that reflect the Obama Administration's continuing commitment to attracting and retaining highly-skilled immigrants. The Administration's new initiatives will lead to increased work permits for foreign workers while 22 million Americans can't find a full-time job.

The Administration's reforms include:
• Expanding eligibility for a 17-month extension of foreign student visas for students with a prior degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
•Providing work authorization for spouses of certain H-1B holders.
•Offering E-3 visa holders from Australia and H-1B1 visa holders from Singapore and China a 240 day extension while their petitions for extension of status are pending.
•Launching a new initiative to discuss how to maximize current immigration laws' potential to attract foreign entrepreneurial talent.

These new initiatives come a day after a Google-sponsored Town Hall with President Obama where the issue of H-1B visas came up. During the Jan. 30 Town Hall, Jennifer Wedel from Fort Worth, Texas asked the President why the government continues to issue and extend H-1B visas while unemployed American engineers, like her husband, remain unemployed.

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