Immigration Reform Bill: In the employment context, the proposed Act would eliminate per-country caps for employment-based immigrants (permitting certain nationals to avoid the lengthy queues for immigrant visas now in place, especially for China and India) and increase the number of employment-based third-preference visas for “other workers.” The Act would create a pilot program for another visa category dedicated to regional economic development (10,000 visas) for people with employment essential to local development strategies.
Employment-Based Immigration Changes
Of extra interest to numerous employees, the Act would give work authorization to H-4 visa holders (H-1B dependents) and give further protections to H-4 kids who would otherwise age out of potential visa options. It would institute new protections for F-1 students at higher education institutions by eliminating the requirement to demonstrate that they have a foreign residence they do not intend to abandon.
People who have earned doctoral degrees in STEM fields from U.S. colleges would also be exempted from annual numerical limits on employment-based visas. Also, the new legislation would increase the base number for the calculation of the yearly ceiling. For the admission of employment-based immigrants from 140,000 to 170,000, increasing the availability of visas.
Also, the Act would create more programming and grants to promote immigrant integration at the state and local levels.
Immigration Reform Bill | Expected Chances of Success
Despite the more moderate approach taken by President Biden, the probability of the success of the change effort remains unclear. Immigration reform has historically been considered a politically polarizing topic in Congress. Also, immigration legislation is expected to face particular challenges in the Senate.
Control of the Senate is split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the swing vote; however, Senate Democrats would require the help of 10 additional Republicans. To avoid a filibuster blocking the legislation from going to a vote. As the legislative way develops, we will continue to monitor and report on this bill’s progress. And on any other significant immigration-related legislation that would affect employers and visa holders.