Summary Of Senate Immigration Reform Bill S. 744: What It Would Mean For Information Technology Companies

By Akshat Tewary, Esq.   |   Friday, 17 Jan 2014, 10:33 IST




Title II: Immigrant Visas

  • Eliminates the per-country limit for employment-based immigrants and increases the per-country limit for family-based immigrants.  (Significant progression in priority dates for Indian nationals)
  • Pathway to permanent residency and citizenship: New classification called             Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status
  • Creation of 120,000 merit-based “Track One” immigrant visas, with conditions for qualifying education, work experience, etc. Quota can increase by 5% each year up to 250,000
  • Creation of “Track Two” immigrant visas for RPIs, those with backlogged family and employment-based petitions, those who have been waiting for an immigrant visa for at least 5 years, and those who have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years

    Title IV: Reforms to Non-immigrant Visa Programs
  • H-1B cap to increase from 65,000 to 110,000; can increase depending on how       quickly the cap is reached during a fiscal year, up to 180,000
  • Changes H-1B U.S. Master’s exemption to require STEM degrees, and raises quota from 20,000 to 25,000
  • New compliance requirements: strengthened prevailing wage system, internet         posting, nondisplacement of U.S. worker, recruitment and outplacement restrictions
  • H-1B dependent employer cannot place, outsource, lease, or contract for          services or placement of an H-1B worker; non-H-1B dependent employer   may place an H-1B worker offsite with a fee of $500 per worker
  • “Intending immigrant” whose labor certification or immigrant petition is pending or approved: not to be counted when determining H-1B dependency of an employer, and can therefore be placed offsite

    (The outplacement restriction less of an issue if GC process is started)
  • Employer with 50 or more employees not to exceed 75% limit of H-1B and other nonimmigrant workers for fiscal year 2015, 65% for 2016, and 50% for each  fiscal year after 2016
  • Filing fee changes: Employer with 50 or more employees, with more than 30% but less than 50% being H-1B or L nonimmigrants to pay $5,000 for a filing fee; if more than 50%, the fee is $10,000 (prohibitive cost for large H-1B filers)
  • Authorizes an H-1B or L-visa (intra-company transferee) spouse to work under      certain circumstances
  • Provides deference to prior H-1B or L-visa adjudications involving the same          employer (extensions should be easier)
  • Provides a 60-day lawful status period for an H-1B alien whose employment is      terminated (allows for a change of employer after termination, without having   to leave the country)
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