Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
Jan 25, 2018

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to Introduce Bill Increasing H-1B Cap Numbers

Jonathan A. Grode

Bloomberg Politics is reporting that legislation that would provide needed H-1B cap relief to a system perennially oversubscribed will be soon be introduced by Utah GOP Senator Orrin Hatch.

According to draft legislation, the law would be changed to allow “as many as 195,000 H-1B visas based on demand,”  a major increase from the current 85,000 allotted through the ‘Regular’ and ‘Master’s’ caps. H-1B planning is currently a major challenge for U.S. employers because hiring demand far exceeds annual visa supply, resulting in a ‘cap lottery’ determining which petitions are to be selected for adjudication. Since Fiscal Year 2014, U.S. employers have utilized all available visa numbers within the first week of filing. Last April, 199,000 petitions were filed. Employers accordingly have had significantly less than a 50% chance of having their filings selected by USCIS in recent years.

As with any proposed legislation, the devil is in the details, especially as Bloomberg reports that the visa numbers would be adjustable based on demand. Previous efforts to expand the cap have been unsuccessful for well over a decade.

Complicating matters further is timing: introduction of this bill coincides with the Administration’s calls for immigration reform and legislative relief for DACA beneficiaries, which request drastic reduction of visa numbers through changes to the eligibility categories for family-based immigration and elimination of the Diversity Visa program. The president also heavily campaigned against the H-1B visa during his election campaign. It is not clear whether Senator Hatch’s proposal would be a standalone bill, or eventually rolled into a larger reform package.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see proposed legislation offering relief for prospective employers of high-skilled foreign workers. We will continue to provide updates on this matter as it makes its way through the legislative process.

Given that the H-1B cap season is upon us, we encourage all employers to contact us today regarding their H-1B planning.  

Related Team

Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode

215-395-8959

215-395-8959

email Jonathan

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)
Providence (New England)

Full Biography

Jonathan A. Grode

Recent Blogs

Nov 26, 2019

E-Verify to be Required for All Pennsylvania Construction Companies

The CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE VERIFICATION ACT (“the Act”) became Pennsylvania law on October 7, 2019 and takes effect on October 6, 2020. The Act requires that all Pennsylvania-based construction companies utilize the E-Verify system for Forms I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). Learn more in this blog.

Nov 22, 2019

Green and Spiegel Secures Grenadian E-2 Visa for Chinese Client

As a firm dedicated to representing investors and entrepreneurs from around the world, we try to find creative solutions to enable our clients to secure their dreams in the U.S., especially when those options are not readily apparent. We recently had the pleasure of representing Mr. M.L., a successful Chinese businessman who wanted to open an educational company in a major Northeastern U.S. city. Because there is no treaty, ML utilized the Grenada Citizenship by Investment option whereby he was able to secure a passport. Learn more in this blog.

Nov 11, 2019

Proposed Rule Would Eliminate Duration of Status for F-1 and J-1 Visa Holders

Reviving efforts initiated last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has once again stated its intent to eliminate the use of “Duration of Status” for certain nonimmigrant visa holders – and, in particular, F-1 Students and J-1 Visitors. Learn more in this blog.