Published Date:  

2013-05-23 04:00

Public Description:  

H.R. 2131, the SKILLS Visa Act makes various changes to the immigration system with the intention of attracting high-skilled immigration to the United States. Unfortunately, the primary feature of the SKILLS Visa Act is a dramatic increase in foreign workers. 55,000 visas are added for STEM and medical graduates with advanced degrees, 10,000 for immigrant entrepreneurs, 15,000 for immigrants with advanced degrees (EB-2), and 15,000 for skilled workers and professionals (EB-3), for a total of 95,000 new employment-based immigrant visas. This number is only partially offset due to the elimination of the visa lottery, which removes 55,000 visas from the total number. In addition, the cap for H-1B nonimmigrants is raised by 90,000, and an additional 20,000 individuals are exempted from that cap. On top of the already dramatic increase in H-1B visas, the SKILLS Act allows spouses that accompany H-1B holders to receive work authorization. The SKILLS Act also increases the amount of visas for spouses and minor children of permanent residents by 25,000 for 10 years, without any change to chain migration until the category for siblings of U.S. citizens is eliminated altogether in 2024, along with the 65,000 yearly visas allocated to that category. This bill does, however, include various basic American worker protections, including public reporting of job orders on the web and wage level requirements for the various employment-based visas.

NumbersUSA's Position:  


Bill Number:  

H.R. 2131