In November, federal legislation was once again proposed that would drastically alter the process of employing H-1B and L-1 workers in the U.S.–increasing the burdens, costs, requirements, and penalties for employers–while effectively barring many small and mid-sized employers from hiring any of these highly-skilled and sought after foreign workers.
This new bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2015, is not likely to pass, however it echoes previous attempts to alter these visa category requirements that would impair the ability of employers to hire the H-1B and L-1 visa employees they need.These controversial changes are included in a reform package that also includes a few welcome and promising developments for H-1B and L-1 employers, such as a doubling of the current H-1B visa cap and a transition to a demand-based system.Therefore, it is important to analyze and discuss in advance this proposed legislation and how the proposed changes might affect H-1B and L-1 visa employers if passed.
This proposed legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, is motivated by a misguided belief that non-immigrant visa holders displace American jobs and lower wages for domestic workers. As we have mentioned in previous blog entries, this is simply not supported by the research studies and the facts. Foreign workers in the H-1B and L-1 categories constitute some of the best and the brightest talent from around world, they increase our economic efficiency and growth, and they actually create new professional-level jobs for domestic workers.