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Immigration & Federal Relations Alert - Immigration Bill Proposes Substantial Reforms in Access to High-Skilled Foreign Workers in the U.S.

January 30, 2013   |   Atlanta | Chicago | Columbus | Delaware | Elkhart | Fort Wayne | Grand Rapids | Indianapolis | Los Angeles | Minneapolis | South Bend

On Jan. 29, 2013, the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 was introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators. The bill focuses on areas needed to ensure that businesses in the U.S. may remain competitive in the global market by increasing the employment-based nonimmigrant visas (H-1B visas) and making available permanent resident status to high-skilled foreign workers.

The bill aims to accomplish this goal by removing the 20,000 H-1B visas cap on hires by U.S. companies of foreign employees with U.S. advanced degrees; increasing the H-1B visas cap from 65,000 to 115,000; implementing a market based system to increase and decrease the allocation of H-1B visas; eliminating impediments for high-skilled foreign workers changing jobs; exempting individuals earning a STEM advanced degree from the employment based green card cap; and by other provisions outlined in the bill.

This bill, sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Chris Coons (D-DE), was introduced immediately after President Barack Obama’s speech on the need for immigration reform and a day after eight Senators announced a bipartisan outline for immigration reform.

The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 is the first immigration bill to be introduced in the 113th Congress and contains specific language addressing high-skilled immigration reform. However, it is likely to undergo changes as members of Congress and their constituents weigh-in on this important issue.

For more information, contact the Barnes & Thornburg attorneys with whom you work, or the following members of the firm’s Immigration and Federal Relations groups: Mariana Richmond at mariana.richmond@btlaw.com or (317)-231-7476, and Liz Lopez at liz.lopez@btlaw.com or (202) 371-6376.

© 2013 Barnes & Thornburg LLP. All Rights Reserved. This page, and all information on it, is proprietary and the property of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. It may not be reproduced, in any form, without the express written consent of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

This Barnes & Thornburg LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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