11 October 2011

Obama's Jobs Council recommends easing US visa laws

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Leading American business figures have submitted a report to the President calling for a range of measures aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy, including immigration reform.

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The US President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness has recommended easing immigration for skilled migrants among other economic reforms.

The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness - formed by US President Barack Obama in January 2011 - will hand down its recommendations for widespread policy changes at a council meeting with the President in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today.

The council is made up of leading American businesspeople including General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, AOL co-founder Steve Case and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and was given the task of identifying policy areas that could be reformed to boost the economy.

Among the recommendations are a plan to liberalise restrictions on immigration for highly skilled workers, including a mechanism by which technology, science and engineering graduates can obtain an extended US visa to work in the country.

"When it comes to driving job creation and increasing American competitiveness, separating the highly skilled worker component is critical. We therefore call upon congress to pass reforms aimed directly at allowing the most promising foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in or relocate to the United States," the council report states.

Other reforms include eliminating capital gains tax on investments of $25 million or less, developing a new income-based student loan repayment plan, and investing in public infrastructure projects, particularly modernising roads and seaports.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA visa application.

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