U.S. senators this week endorsed a proposal that’s long been a favorite of technology companies: a bigger pool of foreign workers.
A spending measure approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee will boost the cap on H-1B visas for highly skilled guest workers by about half–from 65,000 to 95,000.
The proposal would also raise H-1B application fees for U.S. employers by $500, which supporters described as a way to offset spending and avoid sizable increases in the federal budget deficit.
The changes won’t take effect unless the full Senate–and later, a conference with the House of Representatives–approves. That may be easier said than done, as the House’s version does not currently provide for a change in the H-1B visa cap. The next step for the bill is debate in the Senate Budget Committee, currently scheduled for Wednesday.