H-1B Visa Plan That Could Open the Door for Thousands of Skilled Workers – Stay Tuned
On January 25, 2018, Senators Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake introduced Immigration Innovation bill, I-Squared, which seeks to modernize and reform the H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs. If enacted, the bill would make significant changes to the U.S. employment-based immigration system to facilitate the immigration of highly-skilled workers.
Positive H-1B Reforms
Among the many positive reforms offered by I-Squared are:
- An adjustable cap on H-1Bs that rises and falls according to market demands;
- H-1B cap exemptions and prioritization of H-1Bs in high-demand years for certain individuals with U.S. graduate degrees;
- Changes to the immigrant visa system to provide relief to those caught in the backlog and to accelerate the time when green card applications can be filed;
- Added flexibility for H-1B workers and those seeking green cards to change employers;
- The creation of a “Conditional Immigrant Visa” process for high-skilled workers whose employers wish to immediately sponsor them for a green card;
- Limitations on situations where an employer would be required to file an amended H-1B petition; and
- Requiring DHS and DOS to give deference to a prior nonimmigrant petition or visa approval involving the same employer and employee.
Protections for American Workers
The bill also offers welcome protections for American workers by prohibiting employers from hiring an H-1B worker with the intent of displacing a U.S. worker or conditioning the U.S. worker’s pay or performance review on his or her willingness to train his or her H-1B replacement. Increased H-1B fees, with a fee accelerator based on increases in the market-based H-1B cap, would also mean more money for STEM-based training and scholarships for U.S. workers.
Need H-1B Visa Help?
Keamy Tavares in an immigration law firm which assists those in need of H-1B visa assistance. Reach out to us today to schedule your initial phone call.