The U.S. Labor Department is proposing changes to the way non-U.S. citizens are certified for permanent employment in the United States. Specifically, the government would prevent employers from shifting visas from one foreign worker to another.
Currently, the process works like this: The Labor secretary must certify that not enough workers are able, willing and qualified to perform the work, and that the employment of the foreign worker won't adversely affect U.S. employees in similar jobs. Then, the request is sent to the Department of Homeland Security for approval and then to the State Department, which issues the work visa. (For more, see www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov.)
Employers can now substitute employees once the certificate is issued. But this new proposal would eliminate that option for employers.