By Rahul Reddy, Attorney at Law
He who controls technology controls the world. From the Stone Age to the Space Age, the nation or people at the avant-garde of technology have always ruled the day. With the goal of keeping the United States at the forefront of technological development, the immigration reform bill, currently being debated in Congress, would enable companies in the tech industry to attract top talent from around the world to the United States. However, the immigration reform bill may have the unintended effect of increasing the cost of doing business.
The new bill would raise the annual H-1B cap by almost 100,000 visas—from its current limit of 85,000 to what is understood to be in the range of 180,000 available H-1B visas. With the available numbers of visas is expected to rise, tech companies can also expect their cost of doing business to rise.
I addition to a rise in the number of available H-1B visas, the new bill would also implement barriers to dissuade companies from maintaining a large-scale H-1B and L workforce. The proposed legislation would alter the structure of fees required for filing H-1B visa petitions. These fees would be based on company size and the percentage of the company workforce holding H-1B and L visas. A company of 50 or more employees, with between 30 and 50 percent of employees on H-1B or L visas, could expect to pay $5,000 more than what they are currently paying for each visa applicant. For companies of 50 or more employees, with more than 50 percent of their employees on H-1B or L visas, the visa fee for each applicant would be $10,000 more than what the companies are currently required to pay.
Large companies, particularly larger computer and IT consulting companies that rely on a heavy H-1B workforce, will see an increase in the cost of doing business. The bill may have the unintended effect of adversely altering the way tech companies organize their employment structure and serve their clients.
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. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Houston & Dallas advises clients throughout the H-1B visa application process, including responding to various requests for evidence and consular processing issues. 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.