Immigration Blog

Revised Senate Immigration Bill Furthur Increases H1B Visa Number

By Bill at May 27, 2013 20:17
Filed Under: Immigration News
The original Senate Immigration Bill, would increase H-1B base cap from 65,000 to 110,000, with an escalator that can increase the cap to 180,000 in increments of 10,000 in response to demand. It also included an increase of the 20,000 exemption for U.S. advanced degree holders to be 25,000. Read the original bill for details.

The tech industry wanted a cap of at least 300,000. According to Computer World report, the revised bill raises the initial cap from 65,000 to 115,000. Not sure about the change to exemption for U.S. advanced degree holders yet. 

The annual escalator was increased to 20,000, while the overall cap of 180,000 remains unchanged. The amendments add a provision that blocks escalator increases if occupational unemployment for the management, professional and related occupations is 4.5% or higher. This will almost certainly ensure that the H-1B Visa numbers reach the 180,000 limit with 3-4 years. 

"Did the supporters of the amendment know that the average unemployment (rate) for this group was 3.7% last April, compared with what this amendment has, 4.5%?" said Grassley. "This amendment does nothing to stop huge increases in H-1B visas." 

In the first quarter of this year the unemployment rate for management professionals was 3.8%; for computing and math specialists, 3.5%, and for tech architects and engineers, 3.8%.

So if the President could sign the bill into law as it is before the end of fiscal year 2013(Sep 30, 2013), we will have 55,000-75,000 new H1B Visa available starting October 1, 2013. 

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