This morning I sat down to read the history and progress being made on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. After I had finished, I realized there were a number of areas in Business Immigration where I would like to see immigration reform and change. I started to list them and felt it would be best to share it with others. I am hoping the suggestions carry over the ether to the powers that be.
H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa:
Our Office sees significant issues with the H-1B program including the artificial demand created by the CAP. The lottery makes it even worse. Businesses are forced to gamble with their business plans and the administrative process is ill suited to assist/spur job growth and business success. Small businesses are most affected by this process since they do not have the volume of larger businesses.
- The arbitrary CAP (65,000 + 20,000) must be relaxed and made scalable to cater to industry demand
- Entrepreneurs with at least $250,000.00 in funding and at least two employees must be made CAP exempt
- The Employer-Employee Relationship Memo should be rescinded and legislation introduced to encourage ‘insourcing’ of technology jobs through the H1B program
- The six year limit must be extended to 10 years
- H-4 Dependents should be allowed work authorization
- Nonimmigrants who have completed 6 years in H status and have had an immigrant petition approved and pending for 3 years must be allowed to immediately apply for adjustment of status irrespective of Visa Number availability
L-1 Nonimmigrant Visas:
The Adjudication process for L-1Bs is currently broken. It is impossible to convince the Service that an individual has specialized knowledge. Legislation must clarify or reiterate intent of the L-1 Visa program and further expand the L to include employees other than manager/executives, or those with specialized knowledge
- Adjudication process must be streamlined
- L-1B extensions must be allowed for employees already in the US when only the U.S. Employer is acquired
- L-1A/L-1B employees should be able to qualify with 6 months of prior employment with the company abroad.
- Initial L-1 for new Company employees must be granted for a period of 24 months as opposed to the current 12 months
- L-1B Visa should be granted for a period of 7 years in keeping with L-1A Visas
- An L-1B who has completed 7 years and in L status and has an immigrant petition approved and pending for 3 years must be allowed to immediately apply for adjustment of status irrespective of Visa Number availability
PERM Based Immigration – Employment Based Second and Third Preference:
- Individuals with three year bachelor’s degrees should be allowed to qualify for EB-2 positions by documenting a combination of education, training and experience and 5 years of experience
- Backlogs for the EB3 and EB2 categories caused by per country limitations must be eliminated
EB-1 Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researchers and Multinational Executives:
The Kazarian standard is at best confusing. Legislation must clarify or reiterate intent of the EB-1A and EB-1B programs.
- Legislation is required to handle the current crop of IT entrepreneurs and innovators
- Candidates with a Ph.D. and a pending patent application should be allowed to meet the threshold evidentiary standard
- Candidates with a Federal Grant, or handling MCTL technology must be processed separately and allowed to immigrate
- Candidates in Biotechnology must be given preference. At present 9 out of 10 PhD candidates in this area are from China.
- Multinational Executives and Managers from companies with 10 or more employees and $2 Million or more in revenue should be allowed to meet the threshold evidentiary standard