When it comes to desirable options for foreign nationals to come to America, one of the most popular and successful visa programs is the H-1B. Since the Immigration Act of 1990, the H-1B visa has been one of the most in demand visas for skilled foreign professionals and employers unable to find niche workers here in the United States..
Now, there is a bipartisan effort to refresh this visa category and bring the program current to today’s modern world. This proposed legislation, called the Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment Act (EAGLE Act), aims to reform employment-based (EB) green cards, the H-1B visa program, and family-sponsored visas.
One of the driving factors for updating the program is that caps in place are causing the United States to lose highly skilled workers to countries using merit based immigration, such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Here are a few goals of the bill:
- Remedy current backlogs by gradually phasing out per-country caps by 2032 to prevent USCIS from being overwhelmed with backlogged applications
- Require all H-1B job postings to be listed on the Department of Labor’s website for 30 days
- Prohibit an employer from employing more than 50% of its workforce through the H-1B program
- Adjust wage requirements for H-1B jobs to reflect variations in cost of living throughout the United States
- Remove the per country 7% caps that limit the amount of viable candidates from large tech hubs like India and China
Major immigration reform has been proposed by the past five presidential administrations, including the Biden administration. The bill can be reviewed at length here.
It’s no secret that foreign nationals are commonly sought out for innovation, advanced science and medical skills, and technology prowess. If you’re an employer looking to employ H-1B candidates for your American business, call our attorneys today for a complimentary consultation.