Immigration Law Associates, PC

Protect and Grow American Jobs Act – H.B. 5801: Implications for the H-1B Visa

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A bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. would close a loophole in the H-1B visa program that allegedly depresses the wages and job opportunities of U.S. workers. The proposed Protect and Grow American Jobs Act — H.B. 5801 — would modify the H-1B program by raising the wage threshold required to be considered an “exempt” H-1B worker.

Under current law, an exempt H-1B worker is one who either receives $60,000 in annual wages or has attained a master’s degree or higher in a specialty related to the intended H-1B employment. The bill proposes to raise the wage exemption threshold for H-1B visa dependent employers from $60,000 to $100,000, and continues increasing the wage exemption at the rate of inflation every three years after. The proposed bill is meant to deal with an unintended consequence of the original legislation offering skilled immigrants H-1B visas: that some companies hired a large number of H-1B workers and paid them less than their American counterparts.

The proposed bill, which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, is cosponsored by Reps. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Jared Polis, D-Colo., Juan Varga,s D-Calif., Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Lamar Smith, R-Texas, Duncan Hunter R-Calif., and Susan Davis, D-Calif.

You can find a copy of the proposed House bill at the following link: http://www.aila.org/advo-media/whats-happening-in-congress/pending-legislation/hr-5801-protect-and-grow-american-jobs-act



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