Colorado Republican Mike Coffman and Illinois Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, have proposed the amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize additional visas for well-educated aliens to live and work in the United States, and for other purposes.
Both congressional representatives presented their proposal called ‘Immigration Innovation Act of 2018’ in the House of Representatives. The Indian-American representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, called on the congress through the bill to allow students on F-1 visas to seek permanent resident status “while a student or during Optional Practical Training.”
The bill also recommends flexibility for H-1B visa holders to switch jobs, once they are in the US. However, it still suggests that employers should be banned from hiring H-1B workers to replace American workers. In addition, it subjects employers who have more than five H-1B workers to a penalty for each employee that worked less than 25% of the first work-authorization year.
Colorado Republican Representative Mike Coffman said to the Congress that the US immigration policies must fit with the economic needs of the country.
“One critical part of Congress’ job is ensuring that immigration laws match our country’s high-tech workforce requirements as well as meet the needs of H1-B visa applicants and their families,” he said.
The bill also proposes:
- the increasing of application fee to $10,000 per employee
- the offering of prevailing wage of not less than $100,000 per year
- removal of existing annual exemption cap on H-1B visas for holders of US master’s degrees or higher
- narrows education-based cap exemption to those with US PhDs
- proposes to eliminate per-country limit for employment based green cards
- propose the creation of a new conditional green card category to allow US employers to sponsor university-educated
According to Krishnamoorthi, the bill increases investments in US education system to guarantee that American workers are trained for high-tech jobs. He also claimed that it reforms the visa system for highly skilled workers, which allows American businesses to compete in the global economy.