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Congress Is Back And Here Comes Another Round Of H-1B Legislation

Will this be the year they raise the cap?
With a new session of Congress comes a new round of immigration reform bills. The first out includes a familiar provision: to raise the H-1B visa cap.

Gutierrez and Flake try their hand at immigration reform

Gutierrez and Flake try their hand at immigration reform
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., last week introduced the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act. It includes a proposal to increase the annual cap on H-1B visas--the visas most often used to bring in foreign tech pros--from 65,000 to 115,000. The acronym-grasping act, known as Strive, proposes upping the limit to 180,000 in subsequent years if the 115,000 cap is reached during a given fiscal year. The bill also proposes exempting from the cap certain individuals who have earned an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math at U.S. schools.

In each of the last several years, the H-1B cap was reached months before the new fiscal year even began. On April 1, the federal government will begin accepting H-1B petitions for fiscal 2008, which begins on Oct. 1. Once again, we'll be watching to see how fast the visas are snapped up.