CFGI Quoted – “Applications for H-1B Visas Drop for First Time in Years”


“The number of H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2018 fell below 200,000 this year for the first time since 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced.

“The agency received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period this year, far surpassing the statutory cap of 85,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018 but falling short of recent years' hauls. 

“USCIS received 236,000 H-1B visa petitions in 2016, and 233,000 in 2015. 

“‘While there was a slight drop in petitions this year, it's clear that demand continues to outpace supply for H-1B visas,’ said Dick Burke, president and CEO of Envoy, an immigration services firm based in Chicago. ‘Companies can't bank their talent strategy on a lottery with a 1 in 3 chance of receiving a visa.’

“…The reasons for fewer petitions this year are unclear, but may be related to uncertainty about the future of the H-1B program and immigration, Burke said.

“…The Society for Human Resource Management reported in 2016 that 68 percent of HR professionals are experiencing difficulty recruiting candidates for full-time positions, with science and technology fields being the most difficult high-skilled positions to fill. 

“…‘U.S. employers are losing ground in the highly competitive global talent marketplace and a random lottery for H-1B visas does not help,’ said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration…‘H-1B visas can be a vital tool for employers to access top global talent, drive innovation and spur economic growth, creating more jobs for U.S. workers,’ Shotwell said. ‘As the reform debate moves forward, we must advance a system that is innovative, fair and competitive for employers and employees. We should embrace solutions that reflect market demand and prioritize visas for employers who invest in U.S. workers.’”

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