Introducing The Immigration Innovation Act Bill
SENATORS INTRODUCE TECH IMMIGRATION BILL: A bipartisan group of senators reintroduced immigration legislation on January 13, 2015 focused on tech workers. Their bill, the Immigration Innovation (I-Squared) Act, would increase numbers of both H-1B visas and green cards for high-skill workers. Among the bill’s provisions are the following:
•Increases the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and allows the cap to go up (but not above 195,000) or down (but not below 115,000), depending on actual market demand. •Removes the existing 20,000 cap on the U.S. advanced degree exemption for H-1Bs. •Authorizes employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders. •Recognizes that foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities have “dual intent” so they aren’t penalized for wanting to stay in the U.S. after graduation. •Recaptures green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used, and continues to do so going forward. •Exempts dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients, U.S. STEM advanced degree holders, persons with extraordinary ability, and outstanding professors and researchers from the employment-based green card cap. •Eliminates annual per-country limits for employment-based visa petitioners and adjusts per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas. •Establishes a grant program using funds from new fees added to H-1Bs and employment-based green cards to promote STEM education and worker retraining.
Let’s not forget that it is only the introduction of a bill and stay tuned for developments.
Executive Actions on Immigration
On November 20, 2014, the President has made an announcement about the Executive Actions.
The new initiatives include:
1.Expanding the eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from 2 years to 3 years.
2.Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they pass required background check.
3.Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
4.Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs.
5.Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
We note that the USCIS has not yet issued necessary applications, guidance and regulations pertaining new initiatives. Stayed tuned for updates on implementation of executive actions.
Unfortunately, not everyone would be eligible to file according to executive actions. In addition as each immigration case is unique, it is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney for detailed evaluation of each individual case.
Currently there is no Immigration reform. Previously there were discussions on Immigration Reform bill.
Please Remember that discussion of this page covers a bill, which IS NOT A LAW, but only a bill, which didn't pass thus leading to an announcement of Executive Actions on November 20, 2014.
The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” or S. 744, is a broad-based proposal for reforming the U.S. immigration system written by 8 Senators. The bill provides a broad change to the immigration process. Most importantly it provides a path to become a legal resident status to 11 millions of undocumented immigrants. It also changes family and employment based categories for immigrants. As such it completely eliminated siblings petition category and petitions for married children of the U.S. citizens who reached age of 30. However, spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents will be considered immediate relatives, exempting from current visa caps and immediately eligible for green cards. New Act will create a new merit-based point system with two tracks that award points to immigrants with educational credentials, work experience, and other qualifications. It will function alongside the current family-based immigration and employment-based immigration programs, which allow U.S. companies, citizens, and legal permanent residents to file petitions for relatives or employees. Between 120,000 and 250,000 visas would be allocated each year based on the point system. The bill will eliminate the current backlogs of pending applications in the system by 2021, and will allow the recapture of unused visas from previous years, in addition to preventing future backlogs of applicants from oversubscribed countries by eliminating country-specific caps.
Also, highly skilled and very talented immigrants will be exempt from the cap, including immigrants of extraordinary ability, multinational executives, graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields, and physicians who fill special medical needs such as working in medically underserved areas.
On June 12, 2013, Senators took the floor to make opening statements and statements in support of various amendment to Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act or S.744
If the Senate passes S. 744, it will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. It is unlikely that the House will fully accept the bill, it could introduce essentially the same bill on the floor. Members of the House may introduce their own comprehensive package, which could be taken up; or the House may choose to consider a number of separate immigration bills that are packaged together for consideration. If the House passes a bill that differs from the Senate bill, the two bills will need to be reconciled. This may happen via a conference committee of appointed Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who would draft a compromise bill to reconcile the Senate and House versions.
To Learn More, call NYC Immigration Lawyer Tsirina Goroshit at (212)880-1538