Congress Fails To Pass Worker Visa Relief
Congress has quietly dropped a section of the budget savings bill passed this weekend that would have raised more than a half billion dollars and offered relief to backlogs in the H-1B non-immigrant program and in employment-based green card categories. The measure had been included in a Senate version of the bill, but the House version of the budget bill only had a provision calling for a tax on L-1 visas. Several Republican members the House of Representatives, the chamber that holds more hostile views on immigration, threatened to vote against the compromise bill if the immigration provisions were not dropped. All immigration provisions, including the House’s L-1 visa tax, were stripped out of the bill at the last moment.
The bill would have made the following reforms:
H-1B visas reform
Changes to the H-1B program would have included the following:
Employment-based green card changes
The proposal would have made several key reforms to employment-based green card filing including the following:
L-1 visa reform
The House and Senate each approved provisions to tax L-1s between $750 and $1500.
The House is not expected to include these provisions in its version of the budget bill.
Groups that pushed for the legislation vow to bring the measure up again early in the new calendar year when Congress returns from its Christmas recess.
Gregory Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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