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H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017
A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform and reduce fraud and abuse in certain visa programs for aliens working temporarily in the United States, and for other purposes.
H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017 This bill amends the the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise employer and government requirements regarding visas for nonimmigrant aliens rated H-1B (specialty occupation) and L-1 (intracompany transfer to the United States from abroad). H-1B employer application requirements are revised. The bill establishes an H-1B visa allocation system, with first priority reserved for aliens who have earned an advanced degree in a field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from a U.S. institution of higher education. The bill requires completion of a U.S. degree (or an equivalent foreign degree) as a qualification for "specialty occupation" eligibility, eliminating experience in a specialty as an equivalent to the completion of such a degree. The bill prescribes an H-1B labor condition application fee. The Department of Labor may issue subpoenas and seek appropriate injunctive relief and specific performance of contractual obligations to ensure H-1B employer compliance. The period of authorized admission for an H-1B nonimmigrant is reduced from six to three years, with a three-year extension available for aliens with extraordinary ability or with advanced degrees or professors. The bill denies an H-1B visa to any alien normally classifiable as an H-1 nonimmigrant who seeks U.S. admission to provide services in a specialty occupation. Labor may investigate applications for fraud and conduct H-1B compliance audits. Labor shall conduct annual audits of companies with more than 100 employees who work in the United States if more than 15% of those employees are H-1B nonimmigrants. The bill increases certain employer penalties, including the penalty for displacing a U.S. worker. An employer that violates any H-1B requirement shall be liable to the harmed employee for lost wages and benefits. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall give Labor any information in materials submitted by H-1B employers as part of the petition adjudication process that indicates employer noncompliance with H-1B visa program requirements. Labor may hire 200 additional employees to administer H-1B programs. The bill prohibits an employer, unless it receives a waiver from Labor, from hiring for more than one year an L-1 nonimmigrant who will: (1) serve in a capacity involving specialized knowledge, and (2) be stationed primarily at the worksite of an employer other than the petitioning employer. No employer may replace a U.S. worker with an L-1 worker. The bill prescribes L-1 requirements regarding: (1) employer petitions for employment at a new office, (2) wage rates and working conditions, and (3) employer penalties. Labor may initiate an L-1 employer investigation. Authority to administer L-1 visa blanket petitions is transferred from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not voted
Committee on the JudiciaryIntroducedJanuary 20th, 2017
- senate Committees