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.
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.