The Outlook On H-1b Visas And Immigration In 2022

For the sixth consecutive year, we should not expect Donald Trump to visit the Statue of Liberty and celebrate America’s tradition as a nation of immigrants. But what will Joe Biden, his administration and Congress do on immigration in 2022? Events and policy choices in 2022 will help determine Joe Biden’s immigration legacy.

Green Cards And Other Reforms in a Reconciliation Bill: Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) announcement he will not support the Build Back Better Act reconciliation bill may end chances to pass legislation to protect unauthorized immigrants and provide relief for family and employment-based immigrants waiting years in green card backlogs. The Senate parliamentarian’s advice already had dimmed prospects for the bill’s immigration provisions. For Joe Biden’s immigration legacy, enacting reforms in a reconciliation bill is the difference between an NFL team winning the Super Bowl and the team not even making the playoffs. As of this writing, “not even making the playoffs” is the most likely outcome. If the bill is resurrected, it is unclear if Senate Democrats will include measures to help people in legal immigration backlogs.

H-1B Visa Regulations: The Biden administration’s regulatory agenda for 2022 includes a number of H-1B rules. Before evaluating the rules, below is a quick review of facts about H-1B visa holders:

– “Median annual compensation for all approved H-1B beneficiaries in FY 2020 was $101,000,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, and 64% possess a master’s degree or higher.

– Numerous academic and government studies show H-1B visa holders are paid the same or higher than comparable U.S. professionals. U.S. law requires employers to pay the higher of the actual or prevailing wage paid to U.S. workers with similar experience and qualifications.

– On top of wages, U.S. employers pay between $5,000 to $30,000 in legal and government fees to petition for H-1B professionals, and $10,000 to $15,000 to sponsor them for permanent residence, according to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).

By Stuart Anderson for FORBES
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