At a Glance
- The I-Squared Act of 2018 would increase the H-1B cap to a baseline of 85,000 per year and up to 195,000 in years of high demand, with expanded cap exemptions. In high-demand years, a priority system would be used to allocate cap numbers, with highest priority given to advanced-degree holders.
- The bill would reform the employment-based immigrant quota system by eliminating the per-country cap on immigrant visas, recapturing unused immigrant visa from prior years, and exempting dependents, holders of U.S. advanced degrees in designated STEM fields, individuals of extraordinary ability, and outstanding professors and researchers from immigrant visa numerical limits.
- A new program would allow qualifying employers to sponsor foreign professionals for conditional permanent residence using streamlined procedures if they have engaged in U.S. worker recruitment, participate in E-Verify, pay a $10,000 fee per petition and agree to initiate the permanent residence process within one year after the beneficiary is hired. The program would be capped at 35,000 immigrant visas per year.
- Foreign students would no longer be required to maintain a foreign residence, allowing them to pursue permanent residence in F-1 status.
Fragomen Global LLP