Big positive news for the all the US STEM Masters students and prospective highly skilled workers planning to come to America on H1B visa. Today the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ( CIR) passed the Senate Judiciary committee after a long debate. There are many aspects of the immigration bill, which got passed…But, in interest of our blog readers, we will cover the summary related to H1B Visas, Green card and Startup Visa and Comprehensive immigration bill changes.
Summary of H1B Visa Changes, Green Card, Startup Visa in 2013 Comprehensive Immigration Reform :
- The annual H1B Visas cap for highly skilled workers will be increased from 65,000 per year to 110,000 per year.
- The advanced degree H1B cap for STEM degree holders from US schools, will be increased from 20,000 to 25,000 visas.
- There are provisions mentioned in the bill that the H1B cap could be potentially increased to 180,000 per year, if there is extreme demand for highly skilled workers that fiscal year.
- More stringent rules on H1B Visa approvals for companies that have about 15% of their workforce as H1B visa. Essentially, strict rules for someone who are planning to abuse the H1b program.
- No Green Card limits for individuals with extraordinary abilities, especially research fellows, Professors, MNC executives, athletes.
- A new startup visa for encouraging foreign entrepreneurs to start companies in USA
- A new 250,000 merit based visas to immigrate to USA. The point system will be based on education, employment, length of residence in US, etc. The 55,000 diversity visa lottery program that is currently used today will be removed to cater to needs of employment and merit.
We will post detail in-depth analysis in the upcoming articles. The Comprehensive Immigration reform is a mammoth 867 Page document …Phewwwww!
Next Steps on 2013 Immigration Bill and H1B Visa changes – Process ?
Current state is that the comprehensive bill passed Senate Judiciary committee with a 13 to 5 vote yesterday. Next step is to have this comprehensive immigration bill introduced in the Senate in next month for full round of debate. We will keep you posted with updates.
What are your thoughts ? Do you think these changes are good enough for future H1B visa seekers?
- Washington Post : Immigration Bill 2013 Passes Senate Judiciary Committee
- The Hill : Senate Judiciary Committee advances immigration reform bill
- Huffington Post : CIR Passes Sen Judiciary Committee
- Times of India : H1B Visa Changes passed by Sen Judiciary Committee
- Zee News : Senate Judiciary Committee Passes H1B increase