As the entire nation looks forward to casting their votes in the November 6 midterm elections, millions of H-1B visa holders and those waiting in unreasonably long queues eagerly await the U.S. elections to decide fate of a bill seeking betters terms for the employment-based visa program.
“H-1B is a visa that allows American employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations,” explains our Salt Lake City family immigration attorney at Familia America. “The upcoming midterm elections could reshape the landscape of H-1B visa program.”
What is the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill all about?
A few months back, Representatives Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., introduced the ‘Immigration Innovation Act of 2018’, also known as the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill, to address the issue of high-skill workers waiting in green card queues between 15 years and a few decades.
It is estimated by immigration agencies that from 1990 to 2018, there are at least 2.5 million H-1B work visa holders in the United States. Some of the changes proposed under the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill are:
- eliminate the unreasonably long queues;
- enforce reassignment of unused visas from previous years.
- exempt spouses and children of H-1B visa holders from caps;
- introduce new conditional green card categories that open the door for American employers to sponsor university-educated foreign nationals separately, without having to burden the H-1B visa program, which sees a massive influx of applications every year;
- create a grace period to enable H-1B visa holders to change jobs without automatically losing legal status in the U.S.
“These and many other efforts are supposed to help cut down long wait times for visas and green cards,” explains our experienced family immigration attorney in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill did not go through the legislation process back in September, but H-1B visa holders are hopeful that the midterm elections would revive the bill.
Why high-skill foreign nationals are holding their breath until midterm elections
The upcoming U.S. midterm elections could seek better terms for H-1B visa holders, as under U.S. law, all bills in the House and Senate which have not gone through the legislation process will have to be reintroduced. Therefore, if either Coffman or Krishnamoorthi, or both of them, gets re-elected in the upcoming elections, chances are their bill could be brought back.
Fact: All the 435 seats of the US House of Representatives are up for elections.
One of the greatest things about the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill is that allows to streamline procedures to review and approve work visa applications in a timely manner, without forcing applicants to wait for decades.
The main goal of the Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill is to unburden the massive green card volume by introducing new routes for U.S. employers to sponsor high-skill professionals from foreign countries through education and spousal options. As a result, the bill will help bring more high-skill professionals from foreign countries into the United States and eliminate long queues.
Immigration advocates have long encouraged the U.S. government to increase the H-1B statutory cap, allow spouses and children of H-1B visa holders to seek employment in the U.S., and increase H-1B worker mobility by establishing a grace period allowing workers to change jobs without losing status.
“The Coffman-Krishnamoorthi bill could get its second chance in the legislation process if U.S. voters elect either Coffman or Krishnamoorthi,” says our Salt Lake City family immigration attorney at Familia America.
Are you tired of waiting for decades in those bizarrely long green card queues? Find out about your other options to work and live in the U.S. legally. Schedule a free consultation by contacting our offices today. Call at 801-656-9605 today.