H-1B Cap Fails U.S. Employers: Record-Breaking Filings Reinforce Need for Congress to Modernize the Immigration System

Council Press Releases


April 13, 2015

Council Contact: Nicole Longo, The Fratelli Group, (202) 822-9491

SHRM Contact: Kate Kennedy, (703) 535-6260

H-1B Cap Fails U.S. Employer​​s: Record-Breaking Filings Reinforce Need for Congress to Modernize the Immigration System

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. Learn more here.


The Council for Global Immigration (formerly known as the American Council on International Personnel), a strategic affiliate of SHRM, is a nonprofit trade association comprised of leading multinational corporations, universities, and research institutions committed to advancing the employment-based immigration of high-skilled professionals. The Council bridges the public and private sectors to promote sensible, forward-thinking policies that foster innovation and job growth. Learn more about the Council at www.councilforglobalimmigration.org.

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.organd follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.



2015 CFGI-SHRM H-1B Cap.FINAL_.pdf

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