The Senate immigration reform bill would create a new non-immigrant visa category, the W visa category. W visas would be issued to low skilled foreign workers who are willing to work for registered employers and the spouses and children of these workers would also be permitted to travel to the United States and work there. This program would start in April 2015 and would permit the low skilled foreign nationals to work in the United States.
In order to hire W visa holders, US employers must register with the USCIS and they must hire W visa holders only for the registered positions. W visas would be valid for three years and these visas could be renewed. In order to manage this W visa category, a new agency, “Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research” would be created within the USCIS. This Bureau would devise a methodology to implement and monitor the new non-immigrant visa category. A commissioner would be appointed by the President and the Bureau would be headed by that commissioner. US employers must file applications and request the Secretary to designate the vacant positions as registered positions and W visa holders would be hired only if they are willing to accept the registered positions.
The Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research would declare shortage occupations and calculate the annual cap of the new W visa. It would also help the employers to attract W visa holders and make sure that the employers are using the right recruitment methods. The Bureau would also make recommendations to the US Congress on how to reform such visa programs and boost the economy on the country. Demographic information would be used by the Bureau to identify labor shortages and to set the annual visa cap. This Bureau would be funded by the fees paid by the employers who register and the employers may not deduct such fees from the wages of the W non-immigrants. Initially 20,000 W visas would be issued and depending on the demand the cap would be increased.