Attorney James W. Austin Examines H-1B High-Skilled Temporary Visa Program

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Immigration attorney James W. Austin, of Austin & Ferguson, LLC, in light of a February 11, 2016, KQED article, discusses new rules that would allow certain high-skilled foreign workers to remain in the country while waiting to obtain a green card.

James W. Austin, Austin & Ferguson, LLC

These protections pertain to foreign workers with college degrees who are often found in technology, computer, teaching and healthcare fields, many hoping to become legal permanent residents in the United States.

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“These protections pertain to foreign workers with college degrees who are often found in technology, computer, teaching and healthcare fields, many hoping to become legal permanent residents in the United States,” said immigration attorney James W. Austin. “The government has proposed a large batch of new rules that deal with these high-skilled foreign temporary workers, and a few of the changes offer some worker protections against abusive employers.”

According to the February 11, 2016 KQED article, the Silicon Valley Indian community is pushing to reform the H-1B visa program, with some claiming they are being taken advantage of by their employers. To address issues such as these nationwide, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently proposed new rules that would allow certain high-skilled foreign workers to remain in the country and more easily switch jobs while waiting to obtain a green card. The article further states the rules make changes to the H-1B high-skilled temporary visa program, which would allow certain temporary workers who are on track to become permanent residents to stay beyond the 6-year limit of the H-1B program.

The changes would also allow those temporary visa holders and certain other foreign workers to more easily change jobs without fear of losing their spot in line for a green card. However, the H-1B high-skilled temporary visa program is often criticized by those who claim it is rife with abuse.

“Included in the new rules are whistleblower provisions and the ability to move to better employment, which lessens the power of disreputable companies to prevent workers to change employers,” said Austin. “Although most employers are responsible and willingly comply with immigration and labor regulations, these proposed changes are very welcome when dealing with the few companies that try to enslave their foreign workers.”

Only a small percentage of companies, adds Austin, violate the immigration laws designed to protect both U.S. and foreign workers. “In many cases, the problems are caused by illegal recruiters,” said Austin, a big part of whose law practice involves cleaning up after disreputable companies and recruiters.

About James W. Austin, Austin & Ferguson, LLC
James W. Austin represents the immigration interests of reputable companies around the United States. Since 1991, he has practiced immigration law exclusively. Mr. Austin is also an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. For more information, please call (816) 356-7100, or follow them on Facebook. The law office is located at 4240 Blue Ridge Blvd., Suite 315, Kansas City, MO 64133.

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