High-Skilled Visa Reform Proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch

On February 14, 2018, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced proposals to the high-skilled immigration visa process. The proposed amendments aim to make it easier for foreign workers to receive work visas by:

  • Allowing individuals with US Master’s degrees to apply for H-1Bs free of the annual cap.
  • Eliminating the country-specific cap on employment green cards.
  • Giving employment authorization to spouses of H-1B holders.

The amendments also aim to reduce abuse of the H-1B program by penalizing companies that do not start employing an H-1B worker over a period of three months after obtaining an approval notice. This is not the first time these types of reforms have been proposed. EIG will monitor and inform as reforms get closer to passing.