A recent news article on the popular website InsideHigherEd.com discussed concerns about public and political attitudes towards the H-1B visa. The article examined a number of factors affecting perceptions about the H-1B – or temporary professional worker – visa. Concerns over the displacement of U.S. tech workers, an increase in wage and hour complaints, issues relating to abuse of H-1B workers and reports of foreign companies swamping the H-1B system have led to increased scrutiny in the press and increased debate in political circles over the future of the H-1B.
While the recently-proposed I-Squared Act proposes to triple the number of H-1B visas, from a base of 65,000 to between 115,000 and 195,000 (depending on market demand) and create an exemption for those applying under the advanced degree cap, adversaries of the bill, like Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, propose huge increases in filing fees and labor-related requirements intended to dissuade companies from hiring H-1B workers.
The 2016 Presidential campaign has featured talk about the H-1B visa, with Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump among others calling for restrictions on H-1B workers while his adversary Marco Rubio has come out favorably for H-1B reform. Whatever the outcome of the Presidential race, the H-1B visa and employment-based immigration generally, will undoubtedly continue to be a hot-button issue with strong opinions for and against proposals for reforms. For information about the I-Squared Bill, click here. For information on how you or your employer can sponsor a qualified worker for H-1B status, contact us.