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Hatch, Flake Introduce Merit-Based, High-Skilled Immigration Bill for the 21st Century

By Bill at February 02, 2018 16:24
Filed Under: Immigration News

Washington, D.C.—Jan 25, 2018 WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2018 to bring long-overdue reforms to our nation’s merit-based immigration laws for high-skilled workers. The bill focuses on areas vital to maintaining the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy: the availability of employment-based nonimmigrant visas (H-1B visas) for industries in which there is a shortage of American labor; reforms to the H-1B program to reduce fraud and help protect workers; increased access to green cards for high-skilled workers; and directing fees collected for H-1B visas and green cards to promoting STEM worker training and education. Previous versions of the bill were introduced in the last two Congresses. 

  • H–1B Visas:
    -U.S. advanced degrees: Uncaps the existing exemption (currently 20,000) for holders of U.S. master’s degrees or higher from the annual numerical limitation on H–1B visas for individuals who are being sponsored for or who will be sponsored for a green card. 
    -Statutory cap: Increases the annual base allocation of H–1B visas from 65,000 to 85,000. 
    -Market escalator: Creates a market-based escalator to allow the supply of H–1B visas to meet demand. Under the escalator, up to 110,000 additional H–1B visas (for a total of 195,000) may be granted in a fiscal year if certain demand requirements are met. 
    -Lottery prioritization: Prioritizes adjudication of cap-subject H–1B visa petitions for holders of U.S. master’s degrees or higher, holders of foreign Ph.D.’s, and holders of U.S. STEM bachelor degrees.
    -Hoarding penalties: Subjects employers who fail to employ an H–1B worker for more than 3 months during the individual’s first year of work authorization to a penalty. 
    -Prohibitions on replacement: Prohibits employers from hiring an H–1B visa holder with the purpose and intent to replace a U.S. worker. 
    -Work authorization for H–1B spouses and children: Provides work authorization for spouses and dependent children of H–1B visa holders. 
    -Worker mobility: Increases H–1B worker mobility by establishing a grace period during which H–1B visa holders can change jobs without losing legal status. 
    -Dependent employers: Updates 1998 law exempting H–1B dependent employers from certain recruitment and nondisplacement requirements. Raises from $60,000 to $100,000 the H–1B salary level at which the salary-based exemption takes effect. Narrows education-based exemption to H–1B hires with a U.S. Ph.D. Eliminates exemptions for “super-dependent” employers altogether.
  • Green Cards:
    Per-country numerical limits: Eliminates annual per-country limit for employment-based green cards and adjusts per-country caps for family-based green cards. 
    Green card recapture: Enables the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but not used. 
    Exemptions from green card cap: Exempts spouses and children of employment-based green card holders, holders of U.S. STEM master’s degrees or higher, and certain individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts and sciences from worldwide numerical caps on employment-based green cards. 
    Worker mobility: Increases worker mobility for individuals on the path to a green card by enabling such individuals to change jobs earlier in the process without losing their place in the green card line.
    Employment-based conditional green cards: Creates new conditional green card category to allow U.S. employers to sponsor university-educated foreign professionals through a separate path from H–1B.
  • Student Visas 
    Dual intent: Enables F–1 student visa holders to seek permanent resident status while a student or during Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • STEM Education and Worker Training
    Promoting American Ingenuity Account: Increases fees for H–1B visas and employment-based green cards and directs fees toward state-administered grants to promote STEM education and worker training.

Republican proposes large increase of employment green card

By Bill at January 23, 2018 22:55
Filed Under: Immigration News

On January 10, four Republican House leaders introduced the Securing America's Future Act, which is supported by the Republicans across the board. President Trump praised and endorsed the bill within hours.

The new legislation includes border security, end to chain migration, DACA fix, increase of employment green card and a new guest worker program. Following are some key points. Please click here to read the one page summary.

  • Increases Immigration Levels for Skilled Workers - Increases the number of green cards available in the three skilled worker green card categories from about 120,000 a year to about 175,000 - an increase of 45%
  • Agricultural Workers - The new H2C visa would bring in 450,000 guest workers every year and allow them stay in the country for up to three years.
  • Ends the Diversity Program - Eliminates the visa lottery green card program
  • Ends Chain Migration - Eliminates green card programs for relatives (other than spouses and minor children); creates a renewable temporary visa for parents of citizens to unite families at no cost to taxpayers
  • Makes E-Verify Mandatory - Employers must check to see that they are only hiring legal workers

This Republican version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill will accomplish the White House's Immigration Principles & Policies, which was released in last October.

U.S. employers are always looking for skilled foreign workers. They are expected to file more than 200,000 H-1B visa petitions during the first week of April! Please make sure you polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly

Trump Administration Supports the Securing America's Future Act

By Bill at January 23, 2018 00:37
Filed Under: Immigration News

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 10, 2018

Statement from the Press Secretary on Immigration Legislation

President Donald J. Trump is grateful to Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman McCaul, Congressman Labrador, and Congresswoman McSally for introducing immigration legislation that would accomplish the President’s core priorities for the American people. The President looks forward to advancing legislation that secures the border, ends chain migration, cancels the visa lottery, and addresses the status of the DACA population in a responsible fashion.

###

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen Statement on Introduction of Goodlatte-McCaul Bill
January 10, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on the introduction of the Goodlatte-McCaul legislation:

“I appreciate the leadership of Chairmen Goodlatte and McCaul, Representatives Labrador and McSally and key staff in crafting this bill. The legislation introduced today reflects many of the policy principles and priorities identified by DHS’s frontline personnel which the Administration has advocated for this past year. I look forward to working with Members as they consider this and other legislation that will help us secure our borders, provide necessary enforcement authorities, and end diversity visas and extended family chain migration. Collectively, these elements are significant factors when it comes to protecting Americans and the Homeland.”

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Increase Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Workers

By Bill at January 16, 2015 01:24
Filed Under: Immigration News

On January 14, Republican and Democratic senators introduced legislation that would make it easier for U.S. employers to hire more foreign specialists in science, technology and engineering(full textsummary, AILA News Release). 

Among the bill's provisions are the following:

  • Increases the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and allows the cap to go up (but not above 195,000) or down (but not below 115,000), depending on actual market demand.
  • Removes the existing 20,000 cap on the U.S. advanced degree exemption for H-1Bs.
  • Authorizes employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders.
  • Exempts dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients, U.S. STEM advanced degree holders, persons with extraordinary ability, and outstanding professors and researchers from the employment-based green card cap.
  • Eliminates annual per-country limits for employment-based visa petitioners and adjusts per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas.

For more information, please review full text or summary of S. 153, Immigration Innovation ("I-Squared") Act of 2015. 

MicrosoftGoogleFacebook and Apple are among companies that have been clamoring for better access to high-skilled foreign workers. 

Analysts say the bills have a strong chance of passing both houses. "Congress seems much more amenable to high-skilled reform than they were before," said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute. "Republicans have been on board with expanding high-skilled immigration for a very long time. Now that they control the Senate, they can control the discussion on that, and they're going to push for more liberalization of the system than they would have gotten in a mixed Congress." 

U.S. employers are always looking for skilled workers. Please polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly.

AILA: Immigration Innovation Act Would Help Economy

By Bill at January 16, 2015 00:19
Filed Under: Immigration News

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds the introduction 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). The Immigration Innovation Act (“I-Squared” Act) provides critical reforms needed in the area of high-skilled immigration(full text, Summary).

“The American economy thrives when innovation and creativity are welcomed, and job growth follows,” said AILA President Leslie Holman. She continued, “What would be best for our country are immigration reforms that ameliorate the damage caused to families and businesses by our broken system. This bipartisan measure introduced by Senator Hatch addresses many of the critical reform needs in the business immigration context. AILA believes that the provisions in the ‘I-Squared’ Act would make long overdue updates to high-skilled immigration.”

Among the bill’s provisions are the following:

  • Increases the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and allows the cap to go up (but not above 195,000) or down (but not below 115,000), depending on actual market demand.
  • Removes the existing 20,000 cap on the U.S. advanced degree exemption for H-1Bs.
  • Authorizes employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders.
  • Recognizes that foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities have “dual intent” so they aren’t penalized for wanting to stay in the U.S. after graduation.
  • Recaptures green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used, and continues to do so going forward.
  • Exempts dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients, U.S. STEM advanced degree holders, persons with extraordinary ability, and outstanding professors and researchers from the employment-based green card cap.
  • Eliminates annual per-country limits for employment-based visa petitioners and adjusts per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas.
  • Establishes a grant program using funds from new fees added to H-1Bs and employment-based green cards to promote STEM education and worker retraining.

"I’m encouraged that this bipartisan group of Senators recognizes what so many economists and business leaders do as well: that welcoming innovative thinkers is key to economic prosperity. I’m also heartened to see members of the Senate looking past partisan rhetoric and instead focused on fixing our broken immigration system for the good of all,” concluded Ms. Holman.

Summary of S. 153, Immigration Innovation Act of 2015

By Bill at January 15, 2015 23:53
Filed Under:

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

Republican Immigration Reform Principals Widely Praised!

By Bill at February 01, 2014 19:20
Filed Under: Immigration News

A Republican blueprint for immigration reform offers legalization for the nation's 11 million people who are in the country illegally, but no special pathway to citizenship, except in the cases of children brought to the country illegally by their parents, according to a draft of the plan obtained by Myvisajobs team. click here to the one page blueprint 

Immigration reform advocates generally said they were pleased and expressed encouragement. read more 

President Obama said on Friday that he is open to a middle-ground agreement with Republicans(no special path to citizenship), "There are still some differences. Obviously, the devil is in the details, but it is my firm belief that we can get immigration reform done this year."

The blueprint criticizes U.S. immigration system: "For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration. This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed nation. ". 

It is also very friendly to business and foreign workers, "Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help to grow our economy." read one page plan

If you want to know more about immigration reform, please visit our immigration blog andsearch immigration reform

U.S. economy is recovering, U.S. employers are desperately looking for skilled foreign workers. It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now!

Immigration reform advocates praise House GOP ‘principles’

By Bill at February 01, 2014 17:37
Filed Under:

Immigration reform advocates expressed encouragement Thursday at the new set of principles on the issue put forward by House GOP leaders.  click here to the one page blueprint 

The principles suggested an openness to legalizing the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country but did not embrace a new path to citizenship for them.

Pro-immigration reform groups generally said they were pleased but also expressed the need for action.

Here's a sampling of their reactions:

Campaign for an Accountable, Moral and Balanced Immigration Overhaul (CAMBIO); coalition includes ACLU:

"It is encouraging to see the House leadership moving, however tentatively, toward reforming our country’s broken immigration laws.  But it is equally important that the Congress and the President move to restore justice and balance to the way current and future laws are enforced. ... These changes would go a long way toward fixing a system that is not only impractical, costly, and unfair, it also tears families apart at record pace."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.):

“While these standards are certainly not everything we would agree with, they leave a real possibility that Democrats and Republicans, in both the House and Senate, can in some way come together and pass immigration reform that both sides can accept. It is a long, hard road but the door is open.”

New Democrat Coalition (pro-business Democrats in Congress):

“We are hopeful that the long awaited release of the House Republicans' immigration principles means that they are finally ready to bring immigration reform for a vote. While this step is welcomed, we need concrete legislation to fix our broken immigration system."

National Immigration Forum:

“With today’s release of these standards, House leaders are showing their sincere intentions to take action on commonsense immigration reform this Congress. Republicans and Democrats now must commit to a respectful debate that moves us forward as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws."

America's Voice:

“We welcome the House Republicans to the immigration debate.  It’s about time.  We are encouraged that Republicans are gearing up to take action and glad they acknowledge that immigration reform has to include the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.  Now it’s time for them to translate these vague principles into a legislative proposal."

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (I):

"I applaud Speaker Boehner and the House Leadership for building a framework for action and recognizing that good policy is good politics."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue:

“The draft Standards for Immigration Reform being debated by the House Republicans today mark important progress in ensuring immigration reform is a priority this year. This is a very encouraging sign that House lawmakers are serious about fixing our broken immigration system.

FWD.us:

"The House Republican Conference's release of draft principles for how they will approach reform represents another important step toward fixing our broken immigration system. We have said from the outset that we need border security and employment verification, an improved legal immigration system to make sure we meet our workforce needs across all sectors of our economy, and a pathway to citizenship for people currently living here who are undocumented. We remain strongly committed to fighting for our principles as the House works through its process."

One group that is not impressed is the AFL-CIO. Here's its statement:

"Seven months after 68 Senators overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan immigration bill, House Republicans respond with a flimsy document that only serves to underscore the callous attitude Republicans have toward our nation’s immigrants."

 click here to the one page blueprint 

Recent Developments of Immigration Reform

By Bill at January 24, 2014 03:51
Filed Under: Immigration News

In June 2013, the US Senate voted 68-32 to pass a historic immigration reform bill which will not only legalize 11 million undocumented, but also dramastically incease the number of H-1B visas and green cards for skilled foreign workers. 

However, the reform bill has been stuck in the House of Representatives since then. If no action is taken in coming months, we will still have only 85,000 cap-subject H-1B visa for next year. 

1.The President: I'll Act on my Own Agenda!
President Obama vowed to use his executive authority to usher in a "year of action" even if Congress remains gridlocked. At a recent Cabinet meeting, he said he would talk to agency heads about using "all the tools available to us, not just legislation, in order to advance" his policy priorities. 

In the summer of 2012, this president issued Dream Act executive order which stops the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they turned 16 years old and grants them work-authorization papers. 

2. The House Democrat: Co-Sponsors for Democratic Immigration Reform Bill reached 195.
On October 2, 2013, Democrats in the House proposed an immigration reform bill(H.R.15), which is very similar to S.744, the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate. The co-sponsor of this bill has reached 195 last week, including some Republican representatives. Only 218 votes are needed to pass this bill, but the House majority leaders just refuse to give it a chance to vote. 

3. The House Republican: Scheduled to release their "Principles" of immigration reform.
According to a recent NFAP report, following are Republican principals related work visa:

  • Increase the employment-based green card quota beyond the current 140,000 a year limit, counting only principals toward the quota, eliminate the per country limit for employment-based immigrants and exempt from the annual limit foreign nationals with a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university in a STEM field.
  • Increase the annual H-1B visa cap and expand current exemptions from the cap for highly skilled foreign nationals.
  • Establish a visa category for immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Create a temporary visa category for agriculture that is far easier to use than the current H-2A category.
  • Establish a temporary work visa category that will allow full-year (as opposed to seasonal) work in the jobs typically held by unauthorized immigrants in fields like construction and hospitality.

Stay turned, we will report new developments on our FaceBook page and Immigration blog

U.S. employers are expected to file more than 150,000 H-1B visa petitions in the first week of April. It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now!

Obama calls for immigration law by end of the year

By Bill at October 24, 2013 23:56
Filed Under: Immigration News

President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to finish work on an immigration overhaul by the end of the year. read full speech 

During remarks at the White House, Obama insisted that Congress has the necessary time to finish an immigration bill by the end of the year. The Senate passed sweeping legislation this summer that would provide an eventual path to citizenship for some 11 million immigrants living here illegally and would tighten border security. It also increase the annual H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 180,000, depending on demand

The White House was buoyed by comments this week from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said he was optimistic his chamber could act on immigration by year’s end. However, most House Republicans have said they prefer a piecemeal approach to fixing the nation’s fractured immigration system. 

On Wednesday, two More House Representatives Joined Co-Sponsorship of House Democratic Version Comprehensive of Immigration Reform Bill(H. R. 15). Now the total number of co-sponsors of H.R. 15 has increased from 182 to 184. 

Based on our analysis, if the president could sign the immigration bill in coming months, there will be 140-150K H-1B visa available on April 1, 2014. Please stay tuned. 

Are you ready? The employers are always looking for skilled workers, make sure you polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly

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