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AILA Resources on Business Immigration

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13032947 (posted Jun. 7, 2013)"

Current immigration policy places a cap of 140,000 on employment-based immigrant visas, which are divided into five preference categories. These categories are: priority workers; professionals holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability; skilled workers; special immigrants; and employment creation investors. Spouses and children accompanying the worker count toward the cap.

Just as in the family immigration system, significant backlogs exist in the employment-based green card system even as U.S. businesses face a variety of skill needs and a shortage of American workers to fill those needs. Depending on the country they come from, some of these skilled workers are facing unfathomable wait times.

Talented immigrants have made and continue to make crucial contributions to the development of next generation technologies and have founded some of the most innovative businesses in the United States. As global economic integration deepens, sustainable growth will depend in part on our continued ability to attract the best and brightest innovators.

S. 744 - The Senate Immigration Reform Bill

S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," contains several positive reforms for businesses, especially in the permanent immigration context (i.e. green cards). (AILA Doc. No. 13041760) However, for temporary immigrants (H-1Bs and L-1s), the bill creates new requirements that would needlessly complicate employers’ ability to obtain critical employees. As S. 744 moves to the Senate floor, AILA recommends opposing amendments to S. 744 that would further encumber business’s ability to hire certain foreign workers. The law needs to be workable for employers of all sizes. Small businesses, while lacking deep pockets, are the fuel of our economy and need realistic access to the talents that can help them grow.

AILA Press Statements & Correspondence

Congressional Action

  • S. 169 - I2 Act of 2013 introduced by Sens. Hatch (R-UT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rubio (R-FL), and Coons (D-DE) on January 29, 2013, makes changes to the H-1B and student visas and increases access to employment-based green cards. (1/30/2013) (AILA Doc. No. 13013040.)

Official Agency Memos and Announcements

Reports

Additional Resources