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New legislation introduced in U.S. Senate for more professional visas for S. Koreans

2017/06/23 04:21

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WASHINGTON, June 22 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. senator has introduced a bill calling for more nonimmigrant visas to be issued for highly skilled South Korean workers, congressional records showed Thursday.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) submitted the legislation (S.1399) Wednesday, together with co-sponsors Sen. Mazie Hirono(D-HI) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The bill is titled, "A bill to provide high-skilled nonimmigrant visas for nationals of the Republic of Korea, and for other purposes."

   Isakson introduced a similar bill in 2015, but the measure was scrapped.

The latest legislation, if approved by both chambers of Congress, would drastically increase the number of highly skilled South Korean professionals to be admitted to the U.S. with non-immigration visas.

Details of the legislation were not immediately available, but the measure is believed to be similar to previous unsuccessful bills that called for up to 15,000 H-1B visas each year for South Koreans in such areas as information technology, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, biotechnology and medicine and health.

Currently, H-1B visas are granted to about 3,500 South Koreans a year. The South Korean government has sought to increase the number, contending that the current quota falls far short of the need in consideration of a growing number of South Koreans studying and seeking professional jobs in the U.S.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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