There is much ado today and in the last couple of days in the news that President Obama will change H1b visa rules to help keep talented skilled-immigrants in the US. Here is a link to such a story from the International Business Times.
I don’t want my readers to get too excited. Obama cannot change the law.Congress needs to act to increase the visa numbers. I will remind my readers of my recent article on what Obama can do on his own. I copy the items below again.
1. Expand the H-4 EAD policy to all H-4 visa holders (not just to those waiting in the so called line for a green card), just like E-2 and L-2 visas holders are allowed (this rule is awaiting a final decision).
Use the existing USCIS Entrepreneur in Residence program to expand favorable policies to founders of companies. For H-1B visas specifically, he can:
2. Eliminate restrictive policies that require a startup founder to demonstrate an employer-employee relationship between himself and his company.
3. Allow company stock valuation and equity to be used to in lieu of cash wages in H-1B visas.
In addition, Obama can work with existing H1b laws to help high-skilled immigrants who graduate from US universities to continue working in the US in specific circumstances. The Partnership for a New American Economy and other business immigration advocates, including AILA have given substantial guidance to the White House in this regard.
While these may be small changes, the impact could be worthwhile and significant. I am hopeful that Obama will implement those ideas.
**Copyright 2014 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
|Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle Washington. She was a practicing barrister in London, UK, before immigrating to the United States herself. While her practice includes family-based and employment-based immigration, she has a strong focus on immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit www.watsonimmigrationlaw.com to learn about Tahmina and her practice.
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