Truth About The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009It is a sign that the H-1B and L-1 visa programs are here to stay. The H-1B visa program remains a hot button issue with some very vocal critics, among them IT labor unions like Alliance@IBM, lobbying groups such as Bright Future Jobs, and individuals including RIT's Hira and University of California at Davis computer science professor Norm Matloff. They argue that the non-immigrant visa programs injure the U.S. IT workforce.
Although the reform bill addresses some complaints about visa administration and regulation, it is actually a clear signal that H-1Bs and L-1s will remain an option for U.S. employers for the foreseeable future. The annual limit on H-1Bs awarded has been lowered from a high of 195,000 in 2003 to 65,000 (not counting the 20,000 additional set aside for advanced degree holders), but the reform bill indicates that middle-ground seeking legislators may be willing to raise the annual cap on such visas if the proposed changes to the visa programs pass. Even if neither happens, these visa prog