In Australia for instance, someone with a local university degree in something useful can just apply for permanent residence as a "skilled migrant". H1B is a guest worker program however, it's for bringing people in to do a specific job at a specific company, not retaining talent in the country, so it's not a particularly good scheme in your case. So I think shutting down the 17 month system makes a bit of sense as it was a loophole to begin with. It's not that it should be a seperate stream, but it should be a seperate visa entirely, and should allow applicants to move between jobs, since they were hired locally anyway. If America doesn't have such a visa, that's fine, since many countries do.