H-1B Visa Cap Hit; U.S. Economy Pays the Price

Employers rely on program to fill critical needs in their growing workforces

Apr 13, 2016

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the H-1B fiscal year 2017 cap was reached with record-breaking numbers (236,000 petitions filed for just 85,000 visas). For the fourth consecutive year, a lottery was used to randomly determine winners and losers of visa numbers. This is renewed evidence of the need to reform the employment-based immigration system.

“Once again, U.S. employers have lost out in the global race for talent – and once again our entire economy continues to pay a high price for our outmoded immigration system,” said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI). “Our continued reliance on a system of chance to determine a critical part of our future workforce is unfortunate – and the arbitrarily low number of high-skilled visas only hurts everyone.”

As CFGI has noted before, employers are intensely opposed to the arbitrary cap. According to a survey of immigration and human resource professionals, just 19 percent of cap-subject employers believe that there are an adequate number of H-1B visas available. These high-skilled jobs are the ones that spark economic growth and create more jobs for Americans.

“There is a loud and vigorous debate going on over immigration policy right now, and that can be very helpful,” Shotwell said. “It is important to base that debate on the facts, however, and the facts are that employers are fueling economic and job growth in the United States by investing in American employees, while also counting on H-1B visas to fill critical gaps in their workforces.”

CFGI and the Society for Human Resource Management developed a set of employer-endorsed reforms to the U.S. employment-based immigration system, including the H-1B visa program. Learn more here.

Media: For more information, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and Kate.Kennedy@shrm.org.

About the Council for Global Immigration

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. CFGI bridges the public and private sectors to promote sensible, forward-thinking policies that foster innovation and job growth. Learn more about us at www.councilforglobalimmigration.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

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.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.


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