Educational institutions are exempt from the cap of 85,000 H-1B visas.
Universities in the US have bypassed the annual cap of 85,000 H-1B visa quota – 65,000 for foreign professionals and 20,000 for domestic graduates – to hire at least 100,000 workers on those visas in the last five years, because they are except from visa caps.
The universities’ H-1B hires include 21,754 professors, lecturers and instructors, 20,566 doctors, clinicians and therapists, 25,175 researchers, post-docs and biologists, plus 30,000 workers in various other positions, according to a report by Breitbart.
The universities are exempt because of a law passed by president George W. Bush in 2006. It helps universities hire top notch talent from around the world to enhance the skills of their faculty and research departments.
The Breitbart report noted that universities and their corporate allies brought in 18,109 “cap exempt” new H-1Bs from January to December 2015. They brought in 17,739 new H-1Bs in 2014, 16,750 in 2013, 14,216 in 2012, 14,484 in 2011, and 13,842 in 2010, according to a website that tracks the visas, MyVisaJobs.com.
MyVisaJobs.com website shows that the University of Michigan got 165 new H-1B hires in 2014. Harvard brought in 162, and Yale hired 132, among others. Over the five years up to 2015, Johns Hopkins University accumulated roughly 885 new H-1B professionals.
Universities have requested 30,000 Green Cards for foreign workers since 2009. That includes 16,941 “education” workers and roughly 12,000 researchers, according to myvisajobs.com
Apart from the H-1B hires, universities also give the ‘Optional Practical Training’ program to students on F-1 visa, which allows foreign graduates of U.S. universities to work for 12 months or 29 months in the United States, to get a feel of the American workplace, and is a quintessential part of the allure of US universities to students who spend a huge amount of money to study in the country, and contribute to the American economy.
In 2014, the program allowed 120,000 foreign graduates to work at a very wide variety of U.S. jobs, noted the Breitbart report.
“We are very supportive of giving international students more opportunities because they are our alums, they are our graduates, they are the ones that are going to get better jobs because the companies are going to see that there’s more longitude to it,” Adria Baker, the director of Rice University’s office for international students, was quoted as saying. “The companies are depending on these students. They hire them because they are the best people for that field,” she added.