USCIS started accepting H1B petitions for fiscal year 2015 on April 1st. It was hardly a week, USCIS hit the cap of 65,000 regular H1B petitions including 20,000 advanced degree exempt petitions. Overall, USCIS received about 172,500 H1B petitions for the fiscal year 2015. Having said that IT companies are in great need for highly skilled experts. In the light of growing demand for IT professionals, part of the immigration reform is to revise the existing clauses for H1B to attract more immigrants. Listed are the major changes to H1B if the immigration reform becomes law.
H1B annual cap would be increased from current 65,000 to 115,000 for the first year, the proposal contains further adjustments to cap limit thereafter, based on demand. The maximum annual cap is fixed at 180,000
The annual cap for Master’s degree holders from a US university is increased from 20,000 to 25,000
The minimum required wage levels would be increased for H1B holders.
H1B holders can switch employers easier than ever. Also, creating a transition time of 60 days between H1B jobs
Spouses of H1B workers would be allowed to get work authorization
Implement anti-fraud measures targeting at H1B dependent employers(with 15% or more of their employees on H1B or L visas)
H1B dependent employers face significant higher fees. Companies with 50 or more employees would face fee of $5,000 per additional H1B employee if less than 50% of their workforce is in H1B or L1 and this fee increases to $10,000 per each additional H1B or L1 with over 50% workforce in H1B or L1