H-1B Visa Program Hits Cap in Only Five Days

SAN JOSE, Calif. (The Mercury News/TNS) -
immigration, H-1B, visa

H-1B visa applications have reached the program’s annual cap of 65,000 in just five days, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Friday, as corporate America’s demand for employing skilled foreign workers in the United States remains strong.

Applications opened Monday for the 2018 federal fiscal year.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in jobs requiring specialized knowledge, including science, engineering and computer programming.

Critics of the program say the use of foreign workers erases opportunities for U.S.-born workers to land well-paying jobs, including technology positions.

FWD.us, a group created primarily by technology leaders, noted the significance of how quickly the H-1B cap was reached.

“For the fifth consecutive year, the H-1B visa application window closed in just five days, showing that demand for talented high-skilled workers continues to dramatically outpace supply,” FDW.us President Todd Schulte wrote in a blog post.

Silicon Valley leaders and executives from other tech hubs have pressed to gain access to foreign workers. The FWD.us group’s founders include Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

“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 that is stifling wage and job growth for U.S. citizens,” Schulte wrote.