Press Releases

Warner & Isakson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Create High-Skill Korean Visas

Would help fill Virginia’s high-skill labor gap & strengthen bilateral ties between the U.S. and Korea

Jun 15 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) have introduced legislation to provide up to 15,000 visas annually for Koreans with specialized skills that are lacking in the U.S. labor market.

“Smart reforms in the high-skill visa program will help Virginia businesses struggling to find qualified individuals to fill open positions. This bipartisan approach will help Virginia businesses fill this labor gap, and it also will strengthen existing strong, bilateral ties between the United States and Korea,” said Sen. Warner.

To meet workforce needs, the United States will need approximately one million more STEM professionals over the next decade than our country currently produces. S. 1547 would give Virginia and American businesses improved access to highly skilled Korean workers, while also increasing Virginia’s access to the $1 trillion Korean economy.

Currently, H-1B visas are granted to about 3,500 South Koreans a year. Under the bill, that number would allow H1-B visas for up to 15,000 Koreans with special skills in engineering, technology, accounting, health care, financial services and higher education.