The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, which was announced by Senators Marco Rubio, Chris Coons, Omin Hatch and Amy Klobuchar, would result in an increase in the H-1B US visas cap from the current limit of 65,000 to as many as 115,000, if not even higher. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News says that the measure from the bipartisan group would be for overseas professionals who work for US tech employers and biopharmaceutical companies.
Also stated in the measure is that should the cap be reached within 45 days after the acceptance of petitions by businesses to hire workers who are immigrants, then the cap will be raised again by another 20,000. That number will, however, decrease after 60, 90 and 185 days at the most to a cap of 15,000, 10,000 and 5,000 visas respectively.
The visa cap will apply to tech and biopharmaceutical firms, but excludes non-profit organizations such as universities or research institutes. Due to the fact that the demand for life and biological scientists is so very high, the increase in the visa cap will mean that businesses are able to hire the candidate who is best for the position, regardless of whether they are a US citizen or a foreign native.
“People don’t like to put their lives on hold, whether they’re from outside the United States or the United States,” says immigration law firm founder Edward Litwin. “If you know you’re stuck for the next four to nine years, basically in the same job, it makes it really unattractive to immigrate to the United States.”