Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00032071 (posted Mar. 20, 2000)"
H-1B CAP REACHED: ADVOCACY NEEDED
The INS General Counsel has advised AILA that the Federal
Register notice that the fiscal year 2000 H-1B cap has been reached will be
published on Tuesday, March 21.
Information regarding handling of pipeline cases should be available at
that time. Please monitor Infonet for
details. AILA also was advised that INS
has decided NOT to count any overissuances of H-1B numbers from fiscal 1999 against
fiscal 2000 numbers, but cannot say at this time whether it might apply those
excess issuances, if there are any, against future years.
Given that the cap has been reached, advocacy efforts in support of H-1B legislation
are all the more urgent! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ELECTED
OFFICIALS, URGING YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT S. 2045 AND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO
SUPPORT H.R. 3983. The Congressional
Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. More information is available in the
Advocacy Center on InfoNet.
We expect the Hatch-Abraham H-1B bill (S. 2045) to be voted on by the Senate the
week of April 10. Contact your Senators to urge
them to support this bill which would increase the H-1B cap to 195,000 for the
current and next two fiscal years, and would exempt from the cap employees of
higher educational institutions and research institutions, and foreign students
graduating from U.S. schools with Masters or Ph.D. degrees. The bill also would fix current problems
with per-country limits by allowing excess employment-based immigrant visa
numbers to be used by nationals from oversubscribed countries, would extend
nonimmigrant status for individuals hitting their six-year cap due to those
limits, and would require INS to extend the nonimmigrant status of individuals
who had have employment-based immigrant visa petitions or adjustment of status applications
pending for more than one year. The
bill also would allow H-1B nonimmigrants changing employers to begin employment
with the new employer upon filing a new H-1B petition.
We also urge you to contact your Representatives to support H.R. 3983 introduced
by Representatives David Dreier (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and others. The “Helping to Improve
Technology Education and Achievement” has strong bi-partisan support and
contains elements similar to S. 2045.
It would: Increase the limit on H-1B visas to 200,000 for FYs 2001, 2002
and 2003, and “set aside” 10,000 visas for employees of higher educational
institutions, and government and non-profit research institutions, and 60,000
visas for individuals who hold masters or higher degrees (or their equivalent);
Deal with the problems resulting from the per-country limits in business
immigration by allowing unused visas to spill over to over-subscribed
countries; Allow applying “carryover visas” from FY 99 that were counted
against the FY 2000 cap to FY 99, thereby having fewer carryovers counted for
this year; Allow extension of H-1B status for those hitting the six-year limit
due to INS and DOL delays in processing immigrant visa cases or the per country
limit; Recapture employment-based immigrant visas that were “lost” in the last
two fiscal years because of INS delays in processing; Allow companies that must
document U.S. recruiting to use Internet recruiting exclusively; mandate that
INS and DOL institute Web-based case tracking systems within one year, and
institute a Technology Advisory Council for those agencies to look at
developing web-based case filing systems; Require employers to file annually
with DOL copies of the W-2 forms for their H-1B employees; Increase the
“training” fee to $1000 for initial H-1B petitions—the fee remains $500 for
extensions and change of employers; The bill also redirects the H-1B fees to
student loan forgiveness for math and science teachers, “Upward Bound” projects
in science and mathematics education, low-income college scholarships, and
regional skills training alliances.
AILA, along with our business community allies, strongly supports H.R. 3983. However, AILA also has registered its strong
concerns about the impact of the increased fees on non-profits, small
businesses and state and local governments that are increasingly using the H-1B
program. We urge you to do the same in
the context of support for H.R. 3983.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ADVOCATE IN SUPPORT OF THE H-1B PROGRAM AND S. 2045 AND H.R.