In March 2023, the U.S. Senate received the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act. This legislation would significantly affect these two crucial employment-based visas, placing several restrictions and responsibilities on employers who use them.
Senators Dick Durban and Chuck Grassley introduced the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, with four Senators agreeing to co-sponsor it. In addition, the House received companion legislation for the Act. The stated goal of this legislation is to reduce the potential abuse of employment-based visas. It would also ensure that American workers do not face disadvantages compared to visa holders.
According to a copy of the bill’s text provided by Senator Grassley’s announcement, changes will include:
One of the most notable changes for employers and their foreign national workers includes the changed limits on H-1B petition extensions. Under the Act, the “period of authorized admission as a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) may not exceed 3 years.” This change is a reduction from the previous limit of six years. However, workers benefiting from an approved employment-based immigrant petition may receive a three-year authorization extension. This option falls under section 204(a)(1)(F).
These increases in restrictions likely signal an increase in scrutiny for visa programs and employer-sponsored immigration as a whole. With this in mind, employers must ensure regulatory compliance, such as the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process. The best way to comply is by using an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool can provide step-by-step guidance and reminders on when to take action to ensure continued compliance.
Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.