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Summary of S. 153, Immigration Innovation Act of 2015

By Bill at January 15, 2015 23:53
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Summary of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 (S. 153) by Senators Hatch (R-UT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rubio (R-FL), Coons (D-DE), Flake (R-AZ), and Blumenthal (D-CT). (full text)

  • Employment-Based Nonimmigrant H-1B Visas
    • Increase the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000
    • Allow the cap to go up (but not above 195,000) within any fiscal year where early filings exceed cap and require the cap to go down in a following fiscal year (but not below 115,000) if usage at the end of any fiscal year is below that particular year’s cap
    • Uncap the existing U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year)
    • Authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders
  • Increase worker mobility by establishing a grace period during which foreign workers can change jobs and not be out of status and restoring visa revalidation for E, H, L, O and P nonimmigrant visa categories
  • Student Visas: Allow dual intent for foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities to provide the certainty they need to ensure their future in the United States
  • Green Cards:
    • Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used, and continue this policy going forward through the roll-over of unused green cards in future fiscal years to the following fiscal year
    • Exempt certain categories of persons from the employment-based green card cap:
      • Dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients
      • U.S. STEM advance degree holders
      • Persons with extraordinary ability
      • Outstanding professors and researchers
      • Eliminate annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners
      • Adjust per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas
  • U.S. STEM Education & Worker Retraining Initiative: Reform fees on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards; use money from these fees to fund a grant program to promote STEM education and worker retraining to be administered by the states

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