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.