The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services started accepting applications for high-skilled worker visas, H-1B visas, on April 1. The government only allows so many H-1B visa applications, and the current cap is at 65,000 for new applications each year.
Even though it has only been a week, the cap on high-skilled worker visas has already been reached. What does this mean for applicants? The agency will now have to use a lottery system when giving out H-1B visas since the cap was exceeded.
Many organizations and industries are calling for immigration reform to address the need for more H-1B visas every year. They say the current cap is too low and could result in many companies moving to other countries to find the high-skilled workers their companies need to thrive.
Several lawmakers have proposed legislation that would increase the cap to a minimum of 115,000 to 195,000 visas per year, depending on the need. Unfortunately, many believe this issue will not be addressed or resolved until after the 2016 presidential election.
The demand for high-skilled work visas is led by the technology industry in the country. They rely on roughly half of the H-1B visas each year to fill positions at various computer and technology companies.
The H-1B visas are beneficial for many companies because it allows them to hire high-skilled workers that they cannot find in the U.S. The program stipulates that these workers have to be paid “comparable wages and benefits as U.S. workers.”
Companies and skilled workers should be aware of the developments to the H-1B visa requirements and current cap limit.
Source: The Hill, “Immigration ceiling hit in one week,” Mario Trujillo, April 7, 2015