WASHINGTON: A bill demanding transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers and overhaul the H-1B and L-1 visa programs was introduced by a group of influential law makers in the US Senate.

Two influential Senators — Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley along with Senators Tommy Tuberville, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, and Richard Blumenthal tabled the legislation.

The legislation proposes to place new wage, recruitment and attestation requirements on employers looking to hire L-1 and H-1B workers, and employers seeking to hire H-1B employees to post those jobs on the Department of Labour (DOL) website, said a media realease. It also claims to reduce fraud and abuse in the immigration system, provide protections for American workers and visa holders.

As per the release, the DOL will be authorized to place a fee on labour condition applications and use it to hire an additional 200 DOL employees and make reforms to the H-1B programme by prioritising the H-1B visa issuance for workers with higher levels of education in STEM and amending the definition of a “specialty occupation” to require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

As for the L1 nonimmigrant programme reforms including new time limits and evidentiary requirements for petitions from a “new office” and mandating cooperation from the Department of State in verifying foreign affiliates were proposed.

The legislation will also crackdown on companies that hire large numbers of H-1B and L-1 workers to displace American workers and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs, the media release added.

Authors of this legislation said the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would stop these abuses by closing loopholes in these programs.