H-1B Visa Cap Reached Today

dreamstime_xs_17719911.jpgUS Citizenship & Immigration Service announced this afternoon that it has received sufficient H-1B visa petitions to reach the annual numerical quota for this federal fiscal year. The announcement came one day before the Thanksgiving holiday while Immigration lawyers nationwide were scrambling to file last minute H-1B visa petitions. Our own law firm attorneys had planned to work through the holiday weekend to meet the demands of our clients when the news was released thereby bringing H-1B visa petition filing this year to a screeching halt.

Our law firm had performed a statistical and progression analysis and announced in our newsletter that the cap will be met by Thanksgiving this year. “We were right on the mark!!” said attorney Gus Shihab, founder and CEO of the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. “our analysis were almost perfect in predicting when the H-1B visa cap will be reached this fiscal year.”

We are now in federal fiscal year 2012; the H-1B visa quota was just met in November 2011. In comparison, federal fiscal year 2011 H-1B visa quota was met by January 2011 while federal fiscal year 2010 H-1B visa quota was met in December 2009. Hence, this year’s H-1B visa cap announcement comes earlier than the last 2 years indicating a recovering economy since there is a strong correlation between H-1B visa usage and the employment of highly skilled US workers.

Is the H-1B Visa Numerical Cap Needed?

Congress instituted the H-1B visa cap limitation in order to “protect” US workers. The idea is that importing foreign nationals in highly skilled jobs could adversely affect the working conditions of Americans. This premise, however, has been unequivocally disproved by numerous studies which concluded that the employment of foreign nationals in Specialty Occupations (H-1B), has a positive impact on the country’s innovations and advancement. Furthermore, the linear relationship between H-1B visa demand and a stagnant economy showed that as the economy slowed down, so did the number of H-1B visa petitions filed. Hence, employers were not racing to replace US workers with, as opponents claim, cheap foreign labor. To the contrary, when the US economy suffered, demand for H-1B visa workers was drastically reduced.

Since there is a strong correlation between innovation and H-1B visa workers, and since the employment of foreign nationals in H-1B visa status does not adversely affect American workers, it follows that the H-1B visa numerical cap stifles US innovation and technology.

The H-1B visa cap should be abolished.