On January 29, two days after the bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (Act) was introduced into Congress by another bipartisan group of senators.
The Act proposes to increase the number of H-1B visas each year from 65,000 to 115,000. H-1B visas are used for those individuals filling a position in a specialty occupation in the US. This proposal is significant for employers since historically the cap for H-1B visas is reached before the end of the fiscal year.
In addition to the increased cap, the Act would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by authorizing the employment of spouses of H-1B employees and by eliminating impediments for an H-1B visa holder's employment mobility.
Further, the Act proposes to:
Eliminate per-country numerical limitations for employment-based immigrant visas and adjust the per country levels for family-sponsored immigrants;
Promote American ingenuity by enhancing the economic competitiveness of the US by among other things, strengthening STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education; and
Recapture unused employment-based immigrant visas (Green Cards), thereby increasing the number of employment-based Green Cards (notably, spouses or children of an individual holding an employment-based visa and immigrants with a Master's degree or higher degree in a field listed on the STEM Designated Degree Program List do not count against the numerical limitations).
Continue to check XpertHR for developments on the Immigration Innovation Act and other immigration issues.
Recruiting and Hiring > New Hire Paperwork
Form I-9 and Immigration Issues Resource Center
Obtain Visas When Employing Foreign Citizens