Purposes for a preferred American work visa are down as soon as once more.
On Thursday, US Citizenship and Immigration Providers introduced the variety of H-1B purposes dropped for the second consecutive yr.
Purposes for the visa, which is continuously used within the tech business by highly-skilled overseas staff, opened on April 2 for a 5 day interval. This yr, 190,098 purposes have been acquired, down from 199,000 purposes in 2017. Final yr marked the primary time the quantity fell beneath 200,000 purposes since 2014.
Solely 85,000 H-1B visas are granted yearly — 20,000 of that are reserved for grasp’s diploma holders. That is the sixth yr the appliance cap was met throughout the 5 day interval
When demand for the visa exceeds the provision — like this yr — a lottery system is activated.
The reason for the decline is unclear, however a lot of elements may have contributed to the appliance drop, together with uncertainty in regards to the visa’s future.
Whereas H-1B visas are used to assist fill a abilities hole within the US, some critics — together with the administration of President Trump — have voiced issues about abuse of this system. In some instances, outsourcing corporations flood the system with candidates, acquiring visas for overseas staff after which contracting them out to tech corporations. American jobs are typically changed within the course of, critics argue.
The Trump administration has taken some steps to crack down on corporations that get visas for overseas staff and farm them out to employers. USCIS issued a coverage memo in February noting it’ll require extra details about H-1B staff’ employment to make sure the employees are doing what they have been employed for.
Firms must present particular work assignments, together with dates and areas, to confirm the “employer-employee” relationship between the corporate making use of for an H-1B and its visa recipient.
The USCIS mentioned in that very same memo that it might restrict the size of the visa to shorter than three years based mostly the knowledge an employer supplies. For instance, if an employer cannot show the H-1B holder is “extra probably than not” wanted for the complete three years, the federal government may concern the visa for fewer than three years.