Multiple bills have been proposed in the Senate and House that would dramatically reform the H-1B visa program. According to MSN, these bills are intended to prevent U.S. companies from abusing the H-1B visa program and to encourage businesses to hire U.S. citizens rather than immigrants.
If you own a business and you employ H-1B or L-1 workers, it is imperative that you understand how these bills could affect your company. At this point, employment visa reform seems likely, and it is vital that your company takes preemptive steps to adapt.
Charles Kuck is an employment visa attorney in Atlanta who can evaluate your situation and provide comprehensive legal guidance. Mr. Kuck will answer your questions and explain how the proposed bills could affect your company’s future. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation at Kuck Immigration Partners.
Let’s take a look at four proposed bills that could have a profound impact on the H-1B program:
1. The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren recently introduced the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017, which would more than double the minimum salary for H-1B visa holders. Lofgren and supporters of the bill assert that the higher salary will give companies more incentive to hire U.S. citizens. If passed, the legislation would also prevent employers from reducing beneficiary wages, even if the employee voluntarily authorizes the deduction.
2. The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act
Another proposed bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, seeks to prohibit large companies with more than 50 employees, half of whom are H-1B or L-1 visa holders, from hiring more employees through the H-1B visa program. The bill also prohibits companies from replacing American workers with L-1 or H-1B visa holders.
The bill specifically targets outsourcing companies that bring in L-1 and H-1B workers for temporary training jobs and then send the workers back to their home countries to work the same job. If passed, the legislation would also give foreign students who were educated in the United States priority on visas. It would also eliminate the green card lottery system.
3. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
Another bill, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017, would introduce a first-come-first-serve system to replace the per-country immigration caps. Its purpose is to ensure that visa caps do not prevent U.S. companies from hiring the most skilled immigrants.
4. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act
Yet another bill, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, was introduced on February 7. It proposes a reduction of overall immigration to 637,960 in its first year and to 539,958 by its 10th year. This would be a 50-percent reduction from 2015, when 1,051,031 immigrants arrived to the United States.
If you employ H-1B or L-1 workers and you would like to prepare your company for visa reforms, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is an employment visa attorney in Atlanta who will help you prepare for potential changes to the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation.