The Corner

The ‘H’ and the ‘Z’

A reader who is in this country on an H-1B visa (defined on the Customs & Immigration Services website  as “Specialty Occupations, DOD workers, and fashion models”) offers the following interesting comparison between his visa–hard to get, and to get which you have to prove you are bringing some useful skill into the country–and the Z visa proposed in the Senate immigration bill:

Derb–Here’s a quick comparison of the provisions that matter to me:

1. H1-B: 6 years max, with option for green card (several year wait).

 Z-visa: can remain in U.S. indefinitely, just have to renew every 4 years; also path to citizenship.

2. H1-B: tied to one employer, must obtain new visa if change jobs.

Z-visa: fully transferable (essentially, a renewable green card).

3. H1-B: Must pay taxes (I’ve paid six figures in two years).

Z-visa: Tax amnesty for all unpaid taxes.

Which status would you rather have?