High-skilled visa maximum reached in 5 days
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that it had reached its cap of 85,000 H1-B visa applications for the fiscal year, just five days after opening the new application period.
This is the fifth year in a row that the application maximum has been hit in five days.
The pro-high-skilled immigration group Fwd.us argued that the quick time frame in which the cap was reached shows the number of visas issued should be raised.
“[This shows] that demand for talented high-skilled workers continues to dramatically outpace supply,” Fwd.us President Todd Schulte said in a statement.
“The arbitrary cap means that talented individuals who would otherwise be helping to grow our economy are kept out of our country — and that the U.S. loses out on the creation of American jobs, rising wages, and economic growth,” Schulte continued.
Fwd.us was founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, backed by major tech players like Bill Gates and Marissa Mayer, and is seen as Silicon Valley’s voice on immigration issues.
The Trump administration has announced that it plans to more closely examine H-1B fraud violations and would take a closer look at a policy that allows the spouses of H-1B holders to work in the U.S.
Schulte noted in his statement that while Fwd would like to see the H-1B program bolstered, the group supported efforts to crack down on abuse.
“FWD.us continues to call on Congress to reform the H-1B visa to crack down on bad actors and to lift the arbitrary visa cap,” his statement read.
USCIS has not yet released the total number of H-1B applications that were filed. Last year the number hit a record 236,000. USCIS whittles the number down to 85,000 with a lottery system.