Current Developments in Immigration Law
Debra R. Shpigler Co., LPA
H-1B Program Overhauled
On October 21, 1998, President Clinton signed the FY99 Omnibus
Appropriations Bill, which contains several changes to the H-1B visa
program. Among the key changes are the following:
- The number of available H-1B visas will increase from 65,000 to
115,000 in fiscal years 1999-2000 and 107,500 in fiscal year 2001.
Thereafter, the cap will revert back to 65,000.
- Employers must pay a new $500 fee on top of the current $110
filing fee, effective December 1, 1998.
- Companies with more than 50 employees, at least 15% of whom are
foreign professionals, must attest that they are not displacing U.S.
workers and that they have looked for U.S. workers before hiring the
H-1B alien. The INS will issue regulations governing this new rule.
The Omnibus Appropriations Bill made other changes to the immigration
laws, including implementation of a new automated entry-exit control
system to track all non-U.S. citizens, as well as relief for certain