April 13, 2015
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the H-1B fiscal year 2016 cap was reached with record-breaking numbers (233,000 petitions filed for just 85,000 visas), offering overwhelming evidence that Congress must reform our immigration system to be responsive to the market’s needs.
“Year after year, the government falls back on a lottery system to determine which U.S. employers will ‘win’ the ability to hire top world talent,” said Lynn Shotwell, Executive Director of the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI).“This year, employers had a mere 36 percent chance of being granted an H-1B visa. U.S. economic growth should not be left up to this gamble. We are betting against ourselves every time we restrict hiring, and U.S. employers are frustrated.”
Employers are intensely opposed to the arbitrary cap: According to a recent survey of immigration and human resource professionals, only 19 percent of cap-subject employers believe that there is an adequate number of H-1B visas available. These high-skilled jobs are the very ones that spark economic growth and create more jobs for Americans.
“Congress’s continuing delay in enacting immigration reform has led to a ‘no confidence’ rating from U.S. employers, especially when it comes to our H-1B visa policy,” continued Shotwell. “It’s time for Congress to take the concerns and frustrations of employers seriously and pass solutions that enable employers to hire, retain and transfer top world talent. The Immigration Innovation Act (S. 153) is a good start and contains an H-1B market-based solution.”
In March, CFGI and the Society for Human Resource Management released a guide to the U.S. employment-based immigration system, which includes employer-endorsed reforms to improve the H-1B visa system, along with other necessary reforms.