TIME Immigration

Commerce Secretary Wants to Help Highly Skilled Immigrants

Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, listens to a question during an interview with Reuters in Mexico City
Tomas Bravo—Reuters Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, listens to a question during an interview with Reuters in Mexico City on Feb. 4, 2014

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told reporters that two regulations proposed by the Obama administration show the U.S. wants to make it easier for highly skilled families to find work and become a more attractive location to attract and retain talent

The Obama Administration wants to make it easier and more attractive for highly skilled families to work in the U.S., officials said on Tuesday.

The Administration is proposing two regulations, Reuters reports.

The first regulation would allow the spouse of an H-1B visa holder — typically working in science, engineering or technology — to work while their partner’s green-card application is being processed.

The second regulation would make it easier for employers to demonstrate that highly skilled immigrants are among the best in their fields.

The purpose of the proposed regulations is to keep and attract highly skilled immigrants in the U.S., officials said.

“These individuals are American families in waiting,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said on a conference call with reporters. “Many tire of waiting for green cards and leave the country to work for our competition. The fact is we have to do more to retain and attract world-class talent to the United States, and these regulations put us on a path to do that.”

The new rules, which could come into effect in around two months, would benefit close to 100,000 persons this year and around 30,000 annually in the coming years.


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