Immigration Innovation (I2) Act of 2013 aims to retain High-Skilled Workers

A group of top U. S. senators, on January 29, 2013, brought forth legislation, Immigration Innovation (I2) Act of 2013, in the Senate that will attribute to a lot of changes in the nation’s immigration laws for highly skilled foreign workers. The senators who came up with this act, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), believe that this bill will provide an easy path for the high-skilled foreign workers to stay in the country with their families even as they contribute to the nation’s economy.

The bill includes a proposal for doubling up the H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000 with a provision of escalating market-based H-1B as and when the economy demands and reforming the fees required for H-1B and green card so that the fees can be used for educating and retaining American workers. The H-1B escalation includes a 300,000 ceiling considering the ability of escalator to move. If the cap is hit in the first 45 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 20,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately. Similarly, in case of 60 days and 90 days, the number of available H-1B visas will jump to additional 15,000 and 10,000, respectively. In case the cap is hit during the 185-day period ending on the 275th day, an additional 5,000 H-1B visas will be provided.

The bill also mentions that the existing U. S. advanced degree exemption, which is currently limited to 20,000 per year, should be uncapped; dependent spouses of the H-1B visa holders should be authorized employment; the routes for job change for the foreign workers should be smoothened by removing hurdles and costs of shifting employers, even as establishing clear transition period; visa revalidation for E, H, L, O, and P non-immigrant visa categories should be restored.

Another issue tackled in the bill is turning over the unused employment based immigrant visa numbers to the following fiscal year, eliminating annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners.

The bill majorly aims to retain the high-skilled workers in the country by giving a large scope and making the way to employment based immigrant visa hurdle-free, for the proposers believe that these highly skilled foreigners are one of the major parts in building the nation’s economy.


Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is dedicated in its advocacy and community involvement efforts towards achieving effective comprehensive immigration policy reform. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.