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

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.

Immigration Reform, Senate, H1B Visa, Green Card