New details of the highly anticipated comprehensive immigration reform bill have leaked ahead of its introduction to Congress on Tuesday (April 16). Most of the technology industry will be pleased that it nearly doubles the number of high-skilled visas (H1-B), from the 65,000 to 110,000, with a maximum of 185,000 in the future. However, as the Washington Post reports, it will also require employers who heavily rely on H1-B visas to pay fees and higher salaries.
With shortages of quality engineering talent in the United States, high-skilled immigration reform is a top priority for the technology industry. This year, the 65,000 visa cap was reached in just 5 days, making the bill all the more urgent.
Notably absent from the (leaked) details is a new type of visa that permits immigrants to start their own companies without an employee sponsor (the so-called “startup visa“).
The bombing of the Boston Marathon may delay debate on the bill one day. We will update readers as new information is released.