The H-1B visa program, which enables domestic employers to hire foreign workers in certain specialty occupations (especially in science, technology and highly-skilled fields) has long been popular among employers, but demand for H-1B workers has been particularly strong this year.
On April 1, the regulatory doors to the workplace opened for those companies seeking to sponsor H-1B workers for fiscal year 2013 (starting on Oct. 1, 2012) and within 8 weeks American companies sought more than 32,000 H-1B visas. That is triple the pace of filings for the prior year, and it has caused concern among some employers that all the slots for FY 2013 will be filled before the new fiscal year even begins.
Several job market reports have indicated that a surge in technology hiring has taken place in Silicon Valley and other high-tech venues. As a result President Obama has acknowledged the need to “staple more green cards” to the diplomas of the best foreign students in this country, and candidate Mitt Romney has formally proposed raising the visa caps for highly-skilled foreign workers.
This year’s demand for more highly skilled workers may signal an improving economy, but it is also a warning to Congress that more slots are needed for H-1B workers if our domestic companies are to remain globally competitive.
Indeed, there are encouraging signs of bipartisan support for H-1B expansion and already Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has introduced legislation to add 55,000 permanent residency visas for foreign students who earn domestic graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
If you are an employer or employer’s representative seeking assistance with the sponsorship of foreign workers having skills that you need, please do not hesitate to call our office at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.