Posted On: January 31, 2013 by Cornerstone Law Group

Immigration Innovation Act of 2013

Immigration Innovation Act of 2013

A bi-partisan bill has been introduced the Senate titled the “Immigration Innovation Act of 2013.” The new bill would increase the annual H-1B cap to 115,000 H-1B visas and make available more green cards for the highly skilled and highly educated. Here is a summary of the proposals.

Employment-Based Nonimmigrant H-1B Visas

The new bill would increase the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000. It would also “uncap” the existing U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year). It would also authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders as does the current law for L and E dependents.

It would also establish an H-1B escalator, so that the cap can adjust — up or down — to the demands of the economy (includes a 300,000 ceiling on the ability of the escalator to move)

• If the cap is hit in the first 45 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 20,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately.
• If the cap is hit in the first 60 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 15,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately.
• If the cap is hit in the first 90 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 10,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately.
• If the cap is hit during the 185-day period ending on the 275th day on which petitions may be filed, an additional 5,000 H-1B will be made available immediately.

Green Cards

Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used. And, provide for the roll-over of unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers to the following fiscal year so future visas are not lost due to bureaucratic delays.

Exempt certain categories of persons from the employment-based green card cap:

• Dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients
• U.S. STEM advance degree holders
• Persons with extraordinary ability
• Outstanding professors and researchers

Eliminate annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners and adjust per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas.