Although the immigration bill would increase the number of H-1B visas issued each year, new restrictions could be put in place that would ban companies from having too many H-1B workers.
The H-1B is a temporary visas for foreign workers in specialty occupations. The visas require that an applicant have a higher education degree or its equivalent. Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and workers in government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects with the U.S. Department of Defense are also included in this category of visas.
The immigration bill would, by 2015, ban companies from hiring more H1-B workers if more than 75% of their workforce are on H-1B visas. This would mean that tech firms would have to employ more U.S. residents instead.
It’s possible that this aspect of the immigration bill could force American businesses to move overseas.
Still, organizations like FWD.us, with members like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, continue to announce their support for the proposed immigration bill.
The bill proposes an increase in wages for H1-B workers that go beyond the current requirement of paying H-1B employees the same wages of American workers.
The H-1B visas would have more fees that would encourage companies to hire more American workers. These fees would go toward a fund to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education for Americans.
The bill would also allow H-1B workers to have more time to stay in the U.S. between jobs.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants