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.
By Bill at May 07, 2014 02:04
The Department of Homeland Security(DHS) announced two new proposals to make 100,000 skilled immigrant workers eligible for work visas. It's the latest move toward changing immigration policy in lieu of Congress passing actual reform.
The new rules will make work visas available to certain individuals whose H-1B spouses have already begun seeking permanent residence through their employer. It is estimated that approximately 97,000 H-1B spouses will be eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule within the first year that it is enacted and then over 30,000 annually after that.
The proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register and the public will be allowed to comment on them. This process typically takes about 60 days but DHS said "it is our intent to review the comments most expeditiously and publish the rule very quickly thereafter in light of its importance to American competitiveness and the growth of our economy."
This proposed regulatory changes would also enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly-skilled and transitional workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States. Click here to read full announcement
The new rules will become effective within a couple of months, update your career profile and resume now!
We have just obtained from Department of Labor all labor certifications and prevailing wage determinations filed by U.S. employers during first 6 months of fiscal year 2013.
Please try our new interface to search the petitions. Do not forget to check the "Cap Exempt" box to search cap exempt H1B visa employers!
The above updates include not only new applications filed during the second quarter, but also decision changes due to employer appeals. A small percentage of determinations are subject to change due to appeal or redetermination decisions on employer applications.
U.S. employers are always looking for skilled workers, make sure you polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly.