In what could prove to be a very important development with far reaching consequences, two US Republican Senators have, reportedly, introduced a legislation in the US Senate that seeks to boost the yearly H-1B Visa limit with a target to bring in the “best and brightest” of the world to the country.
What would it lead to? Well, if the bill finds acceptance and get approval, a maximum of 1, 10,000 extra H-1B visas (for a total of 1, 95,000) could be offered in a financial year, provided some specific terms & conditions are fulfilled.
The Immigration Innovation (I-Squared) Act of 2018 provides work authorization for the partners and dependent kids of the H-1B Visa holders, and establishes a grace time through which the holders of the H-1B Visa may change jobs, minus losing lawful position. The same, reportedly, also exempts the partners & kids of the Employment-based Green Card holders from the cap.
Some of the major American IT biggies, comprising Facebook & Microsoft, and well-known trade organizations, comprising the US Chambers of Commerce and Information Technology Industry Council, support the bill.
It is claimed that the legislation focuses on the regions crucial to maintaining the competitiveness of the US in the international economy — the availability of the Employment-based Non-immigrant Visas (H-1B visas) for the businesses battling a dearth of the local US manpower; improvements to the H-1B Scheme to cut down fraud and assist defend employees; better access to Green Cards for the high-trained manpower; and directing fees generated for the H-1B Visas and Green Cards, to support the STEM worker training and education.
Significantly, the preceding versions of the legislation were introduced during the previous two Congresses.
It unseals the current exemption (presently 20,000) for the holders of the US Master’s Degrees or advanced from the yearly numerical ceiling on the H-1B Visas for the people, who have either sponsorship or who will be given it for a Green Card.
It improves the yearly base distribution of the H-1B Visas to 85,000 from 65,000.
It creates a market-based staircase to enable the supply of the H-1B Visas to fulfill the requirement.
A maximum of 1, 10,000 additional H-1B Visas (for a combined total of 1, 95,000) could be given in a financial year in case some terms & conditions are fulfilled.
The legislation gives preference to the adjudication of the cap-subject H-1B Visa applications for the holders of the US Master’s Degrees or higher, the holders of foreign PhDs, and the holders of the US STEM Bachelor Degrees.
The same subjects the job-providers/firms–who fail to hire an H-1B employee for over three months through the person’s first year of work agreement–to a fine.
The legislation bars job-providers/firms from engaging an H-1B Visa holder, with the object and aim to swap a US worker, and offers work authorization for partners and dependent kids of the holders of the H-1B Visa.
The same boosts the H-1B worker movement, via setting-up a grace period through which the holders of the H-1B Visa may move to other jobs, minus losing authorized standing.
The legislation brings up-to-date the 1998 law exempting the H-1B dependent recruiters from certain staffing & non-displacement terms & conditions. It improves to USD 100,000 from USD 60,000 the H-1B salary level at which the salary-based exemption becomes effective.
The same also narrows education-based exemption to the H-1B workers with a US PhD Eliminates exemption for “super-dependent” recruiters/firms altogether.
The bill removes annual per-country limit for the Employment-based Green Cards and regulates per-nation limits for the Family-based Green Cards.
The same boosts worker movement for those on the journey to a Green Card, via enabling such people to change jobs earlier in the procedure, without having to sacrifice their position in the queue for Green Card.
The same also makes new conditional Green Card class to allow the US recruiters/firms to offer sponsorship to the university-educated overseas experts, via a separate corridor from the H-1B.
The bill boosts costs for the H-1B Visas and the Employment-based Green Cards, and moves charges toward the state-administered grants, to support worker training & STEM education.