This week Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, introduced amendments to the Senate’s immigration legislation that target high-skilled workers. The amendments are part of a broader immigration reform package that’s pending in Congress and we’re glad high-skilled workers aren’t being overlooked in the process.
Earlier this year (and we're only on day 11!) reports surfaced that the administration was planning to cut the option for H-1B renewals beyond six years, regardless of whether visa holders were in the application process for a permanent residency green card. This proposal is guided by Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" initiative. Under the current framework, H-1B visa holders can apply for an extension up to six years (two, three year terms) and if they have a pending green card application, they can apply for an additional extension.
The tech industry has long supported policies that encourage high-skilled workers to come to the U.S. The Alliance and our members have written about the impact of H1B visas and the benefits of high-skilled foreign employees who contribute their talents to U.S. companies. But the RAISE Act falls short of addressing the tech industry’s increasing need for retaining highly-skilled, often specialized workers.