How many more H-1B caps do we have to reach?: Greg Brown.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a memo detailing its plan to begin premium processing on April 27, 2015 for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request.
USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season.
Many critics have responded to the H-1B cap announcements with derision, demanding reforms to increase the cap.
Todd Schulte, President, FWD.us, released a statement in response to the USCIS announcement that the H-1B visa cap for FY 2016 has been reached, that read, “One week – that’s all the time our country allows for high-skilled immigrants to apply for H1-B visas to try to enter the lottery to be able to stay in the U.S. Once again, we see the absurdity of our broken immigration system. The fact that it hasn’t even been a full week since the process opened on April 1st, makes it clear that our broken immigration system continues to hinder our economic growth and job creation.
“Today’s H-1B visa lottery is subject to an arbitrary cap. Just last year, we hit the cap for applications less than one week after the lottery was opened. We expect this year’s cap to be reached in about the same time, or even less. The program is in need of reform and must be modernized to reflect the changing nature of our workforce and the needs of our global economy,” he continued.
Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions and chair of the Business Roundtable Immigration Committee, recently asked: “How many more H-1B caps do we have to reach before policymakers fix the system?”
Every foreign student who graduates from a U.S. university with an advanced degree and stays and works in a STEM-related field creates an additional 2.62 American jobs. It is completely counterproductive, per Schulte, to educate foreign-born scientists and engineers at American colleges and universities, train them in our companies, and then deny them visas to stay in the U.S. to start their own businesses and create jobs.
“We are a nation of immigrants. Foreign-born talent is vital to U.S. economic growth,” he attested in a press release. “The H-1B visa lottery is fundamentally flawed. It’s another clear example of how our immigration system is broken, and why Congress needs to act now to fix it,” he concluded.
The federal organization recently announced it completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general category cap for H-1B visas and 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.
During the filing period, which began April 1 and ended April 7, UCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions. USCIS previously stated premium processing for H-1B cap cases would begin no later than May 11, 2015.
According to its website, UCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to: extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States; change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.