CFGI Quoted – “L1 and H1B US Visas for American employers require substantial investment in US work visas to employ foreign workers”


“US employers are spending over three times more on foreign workers on US visas such as the L1 and H1B visa than they are on American labor, and it’s taking recruiters up to six times longer to add overseas labor to the workforce compared with hiring a native worker, according to the results of the 2016 Employer Immigration Metrics Survey.   Employment based ‘Green Cards’ typically take even longer to obtain.

“…A report documenting the findings of the survey, carried out by the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and an international law firm, was published on February 27, 2017.

“It concluded that US firms looking to hire foreign labor are faced with a complex and challenging employment-based immigration system. Three-quarters of the 239 survey participants, with at least 2,500 employees, said that acquiring US work visas for foreign personnel such as the L1 and H1B visa within a reasonable timeframe was ‘crucial’ to meeting business goals.

“CFGI executive director, Lyn[n] Shotwell, stated that employment-based immigration takes meticulous planning and is not something that should be treated as a minor addition to the hiring process. She said: ‘Hiring foreign nationals takes time, is often expensive, and requires a major investment of time from staff in human resources, legal and global mobility offices.’

“…According to the CFGI, the overall process for hiring personnel via the US immigration system can be as much as six times longer when compared with standard recruitment protocols.

“The report shows that US firms face a multitude of challenges when sponsoring overseas personnel for temporary US work visas…

“…The 2016 Employer Immigration Metrics Survey quotes that ‘it takes an average of 120 days to have a labor certification application processed at the Department of Labor (DOL) for foreign workers sponsored for green cards. After getting the labor certification approval, employers must then submit a petition for processing to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which takes on average a further 120 days for most workers.’

“…An article published by SHRM reports that the average overall hiring time for a first-time H1B professional is 275 days. Meanwhile, CFGI research encountered numerous examples of employer discontent with the US business immigration system, including:

  • “Just 30% of respondents stating that DOL processing times were satisfactory.

  • “Only 24% agreeing that USCIS processing times were reasonable. 

  • “…23% of respondents of participants agreeing that the DOL prevailing wage determinations were consistent.

  • “Only 28% stated that prevailing wage decisions were accurate.

  • “35% of respondents, whose organizations are subject to the H1B annual cap of 85,000, stated that they had suffered the loss of key, high-potential employees due to visas being unavailable under the cap.

  • “Just 39 percent agreed that USCIS decisions were consistent from case to case.

  • “Only 23 percent of respondents agreed that USCIS requests for evidence (RFE) generally ask for necessary information that has not been provided in the initial petition. 

“…According to the report, those employers who participated in the survey had, on average, three employees working on a full-time basis and 10 on a part-time basis just to handle company immigration processes. Generally organizations (74%) position these staff within their human resources department.”

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