Proposed H-1B visa reform bill may impact some non-IT workers too

Bill may have to be reconciled in Congress, though.

An immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa which proposes, among things, to make salaries for some workers applying for H-1B visa to be at least $100,000, may impact non-IT workers, according to a report in The Times of India.

Teachers in middle and high schools in the US may be hit hard, especially if the school has more than 15% of its staff on H-1B visa, with more than 50 employees, and want to hire more on the visa.

The approval of H-1B visa, for which a lottery takes every year, is also based on job skills and the need for workers in certain categories. The Times of India report cited a case where a nurse tried to opt for another profession in the US through an H-1B visa but her petition was rejected. The report said certain professions, like nurses, are in demand in the US. there are only 85,000 H-1B visas allotted annually.

According to lawyers who spoke to The Times of India, certain individuals would have a chance to work in the US on an L1 visa.

The L1 visas, however, are based on intra-company transfers, and small companies in the US or those who don’t have offshore offices would not be able to hire employees through that visa.

Another avenue for potential emigrants would be the EB5 visa, which is a Green Card for investors who are willing to pitch at least $500,000 in a federally approved project, and can employ 10 American workers for two years.

The O category visa has always been an avenue for exceptionally talented people, who have been recognized by the country of their origin or won international awards.

The Times report said non-IT sectors may be hit hard if Issa’s bill becomes law.

However, other immigration reform bills may also be introduced in Congress soon, and they might be reconciled with Issa’s bill, as it progresses through Congress.

(This report was edited to correct several errors in copy, on January 10, 2017.)

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