Employers say that their need for skilled workers is so great, that it has made visa quotas outdated. Referring specifically to the H-1B visa, they and some politicians are pushing for an increase in the number of visas issued from 85,000, where the limit is currently.
The H-1B visa grants temporary worker status for people qualified for highly skilled positions, like in the tech industry. Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issues 85,000 H-1B visas. That may seem like a lot, but many more people apply. This year, a record 233,000 people are trying to obtain one, forcing the government to use a lottery system to determine which qualifying applicants get to work in the U.S. this year.
On Twitter, a campaign started by the Silicon Valley tech industry is using a hashtag to spread its message to expand the number of H-1B visas. The hashtag, “#LetPJStay,” is based on the story of a Belgian man who is developing a new business with a partner, an Israeli man.
Unfortunately, neither of them has an H-1B visa. If the Belgian man does not obtain one before his student visa expires in June, they may have to move their startup to Canada.
Some immigration advocates say that the focus should be on overhauling the entire system, and providing more opportunities for green cards that give immigrants the right to stay in the U.S. permanently.
This shows how getting permission to work in the U.S. can be challenging, even temporarily. An immigration attorney can help improve your odds of achieving your goals.