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February 24, 2006

The TALENT Bill: Keeping America Innovative "Through the Advancement of Legal and Educated New Talent"

Policy Spotlight

AILA currently is working as part of a coalition of corporations, universities, research institutions and trade associations to help fix problems in the employment-based immigration system. To this end, the coalition has written a stand-alone bill that would assist U.S. businesses in alleviating the specialty occupation worker shortage. Dubbed the "TALENT" bill, the proposal calls for Congress to "address numerous concerns in the employment-based immigration system that hinder the ability to attract, hire and retain the best talent the world has to offer, while facilitating retention of such individuals to create additional innovation and downstream jobs in the United States." Among a variety of other excellent provisions, the TALENT bill would:
exempt U.S.-educated workers with advanced degrees from the H-1B cap and permit work authorization for spouses of H-1B workers
create a market-based H-1B cap beginning with a base level of 115,000
revise the current employment-based preference categories and exempt an expanded EB-1 group from the EB cap, exempt EB-2 from the labor certification requirement, eliminate per-country quotas.

Recently, the text of the bill, along with a summary of major provisions, was distributed to key Senators in the hope of finding a champion for the bill in full, or, short of this, incorporating significant portions of the bill into a new Comprehensive Immigration Reform package. AILA will continue to keep you posted on this exciting and progressive new bill, and let you know what you can do to help get its innovative provisions passed in Congress.

Posted by VisaLawyer at February 24, 2006 06:08 PM

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