Overview of Immigration Reform Changes
Immigration reform is something that has been proposed over and over again. In January, a new bill, (The Start-up Act) was introduced to try to solve some of the employment and business immigration issues that we now face. This makes a series of proposals and two key parts of the Bill are to create 125,000 visas for people that obtained advanced degrees in the U.S. and to create investor visas for entrepreneurs. The primary purpose of the Bill is to encourage the talent that pays a fortune to go to school here to stay here and benefit the U.S. economy.
Immigration Reform Changes for New Businesses Entrepreneurs
The Start-up Act looks to change the existing immigration law by creating new visas for up to 75,000 foreign entrepreneurs. These visas would be in addition to the already popular E-2 and EB-5 visas and if passed, the act would create new entrepreneur visas for people currently in the U.S. temporary visas, so they can remain in the U.S., start businesses and create jobs. The bill also has provisions that state that if the company meet certain investment and hiring targets within a specified time period, the business owner can eventually apply for a green card.
Immigration Reform Changes for Students
In addition, the act would create 50,000 science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) visas for students graduating from universities in the U.S. that have advanced degrees such as a master’s or a Ph. D. in (STEM) where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs. This change would address some of the issues surrounding the recent H-1B shortages and would open up another avenue for talented students in these fields to find jobs after graduation. The act also would lift the per country caps for employment based visas the we currently have which make it difficult for U.S. employers to recruit top-tier talent. For example, India and China are subject to long waits for green cards that often impedes the desire for companies to start the process.
What Obstacles May Employment/Business Immigration Reform Face?
Even though the bill has bipartisan support, there are obstacles. First, tit is unlikely that a Republican controlled Congress will pass any immigration reform legislation if the law does not improve border security. Moreover, many call for immigration reform that addresses the millions of undocumented workers and they do not care for a piece by piece approach. Finally, many have criticized that the law could do more to help other highly trained talent. (For example, those who do not have a STEM degree).
It remains unclear whether this bill will pass but we can keep our fingers crossed.
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