The "Immigration Innovation Act of 2013" May Double H-1B Visa Cap

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IMMIGRATION INNOVATION (I2) ACT OF 2013

ORRIN HATCH (R-UTAH), AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MINN.), MARCO RUBIO (R-FLA.), CHRIS COONS (D-DEL.)

Employment-Based Nonimmigrant H-1B Visas

1. Increase H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000

2. Establish a market-based 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)

o 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.

o 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.

o 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.

o If the cap is hit during the 185-day period ending on the 275th day on which petitions may be filed, and additional 5,000 H-1B will be made available immediately. 

3. Uncap the existing U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year)

4.  Authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders

5.  Increase portability of high skilled foreign workers by:

o Removing impediments and costs of changing employers;

o Establishing a clear transition period for foreign workers as they change jobs; and,

o Restoring visa revalidation for E, H, L, O, and P nonimmigrant visa categories 

Student Visas

 Allow dual intent for foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities to provide the certainty they need to ensure their future in the United States

Immigrant Visas and Green Cards

 Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used

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

o Dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients

o U.S. STEM advance degree holders

o Persons with extraordinary ability

o Outstanding professors and researchers

 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

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

U.S. STEM Education & Worker Retraining Initiative

 Reform fees on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards; use money from these fees to fund a grant program to promote STEM education and worker retraining to be administered by the states

Nonimmigrant Visas: