Omnibus Bill Passed by Congress, Includes Several Immigration Provisions18 Dec 2015
Earlier today, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed an omnibus spending bill that serves to prevent a government shutdown. President Obama has indicated that he will sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk. Included within the massive bill are several provisions related to U.S. immigration, such as:
- H1B and L-1 Classifications: A substantial fee hike on L-1 and H1B petitions in cases where the petitioning company has more than 50 employees in the United States, and at least 50 percent of these employees are in H1B or L-1 status.
- H2B Classification (temporary non-agricultural worker program): In certain cases, individuals previously counted against the H2B cap will be allowed to return in H2B status without being again subject to the cap.
- Visa Waiver Program: Foreign nationals who otherwise qualify to use the visa waiver program will lose this privilege if they visit certain countries, such as Syria or Iraq.
The bill also extends the regional center program – a vital component of the employment-based, fifth preference (EB5) investor visa category – through September 30, 2016. Moreover, despite efforts to raise the minimum amount one must invest to qualify for the EB5 program, the omnibus bill leaves the investment requirements unchanged (i.e. minimum of $1 million investment, or $500,000 if the investment is made in a rural area or a region with high unemployment). Those with questions related to the EB5 program may contact the Murthy Law Firm at EB5@murthy.com.
More details regarding the immigration provisions included in the omnibus bill will be provided on MurthyDotCom in the near future. To receive information on this and other important immigration issues, subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin.
Copyright © 2015, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved