Employees who have been granted H-1B with an income of less than $130K will keep their H-1B visas but new employees who are being newly petitioned for will have to satisfy the minimum salary of $130K
Generally when a new bill is passed it only affects prospective cases and does not work retroactively. This will most likely be a similar situation. Employees who have been granted H-1B with an income of less than $130K will keep their H-1B visas but new employees who are being newly petitioned for will have to satisfy the minimum salary of $130K. There is one caveat here though.
Read also U.S. non-immigrant work visas types
H-1B visa is granted to an individual for a period of 3 years. In the course of our life you can only get H-1b twice for the maximum duration of 6 years. The problem arises when someone who has been granted H-1b before the bill passes re-applies for their second H-1b term. In this case there are two possible scenarios:
- A person who re-applies has to make $130K+ by the time her first H-1b term is up. This is an extremely hard thing to get as an employee if you were making salary closer to $60K when you started 3 years ago. From an employer’s standpoint, it is also hard to justify such a significant bump in salary to the management. Usually companies give up to 10–15% raises and no 10% will get you from 60K to 130K in 3 years even with frequent promotions.
- Companies will not re-apply for their employees and those employees will need to start looking for jobs with significantly higher salaries. This may also impose a risk on both companies and workers. First, if the bill passes in 2017 by 2020 we will have tens of thousands of people quitting on their employers and looking for a bigger paycheck. Second, companies will be slammed because they will lose their best employees to other companies at the time when these professionals are fully trained and are well-functioning.
Hope that the bill, if passed, will not affect people already on H1-b even when they re-apply. And from my knowledge of immigration law, this should not be the case because otherwise it will unnecessarily complicate the entire process of H-1b re-application. From my standpoint, if you already have H-1b you should not worry about this bill.