WHAT IS H1B VISA
A Visa scheme established in 1990, the H1B visa program allows U.S. companies temporarily employ workers from other countries who have at least, a bachelor’s degree in specialty areas which include computer programming, engineering, and science, as well as education and health care. This scheme is done by the companies acquiring nonimmigrant visas for them. This allows these foreign workers to work with the companies for three years, (renewable for another three making it six altogether) whether one remains in the same company throughout this time or not.
The U.S government sets about 85,000 H1B visas, annually. 20,000 of which are for workers with U.S. advanced degrees. Before companies submit a petition to the USCIS, companies are mandated to take measures to ensure that U.S. workers are not being harmed by their employment of foreign workers, as explained by the council in a fact sheet. Those who support the program maintain that it allows foreign professionals to fill job gaps and could even aid the nation’s economy by creating positions for people born in the U.S.
WHAT DOES THE CAP REMOVAL MEAN?
So what does the cap removal do? The proposed cap removal on the green card, virtually ensures that those who can get the green card (allowing them to work and live permanently in the U.S) are not restricted by the countries they come from allowing more high skilled workers opportunity to work and help in the building of the American economy. This means that employers have better access to the skills they require from foreign workers and avoidance of the current backlogs in the system. Moreover, as the proposed bill will also apply to those with H1B visas or those still pending for one, it will mean enhanced and more efficient handling of their applications and more successful approvals.
The US House of Representative is set to vote on legislation that seeks to lift the country-cap on issuing green cards. This legislation is being supported by over 300 lawmakers from both Republican and Democratic Parties, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is expected to scale through the 435-member House of Representative. Considering the fact of 203 Democrats and 108 Republicans are currently co-sponsoring the bill, as such, the proponents of the legislation are utilizing a fast-track process which requires 290 votes to pass a bill without all the hearing and amendments.
This bill has had the endorsement of Google, Walmart, Immigration Voice, Compete America Coalition, the Information Technology Industry Council, the US Chamber of Commerce, The Heritage Foundation, La Raza, National Association of Manufacturers and many others.
WHAT EFFECT WILL IT HAVE?
The proposed bill on the removal of the per-country cap on Green Card has a lot of benefits especially for high-tech or high-skilled professionals on H1B work visas from several countries like India for example, where the wait for the Green Card can be as long as several decades! It will aid the more accessible access to the green card and their expertise to allow them contribute optimally to American growth.
By virtue of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which will change the per-country limits for employment-based immigrants, it will ensure that everyone is treated equally regardless of their country of birth.
- July 15th, 2019