And then there were none: As expected, more people applied for high-skill and high-degree U.S. work visas in the first five days of the application period than there were slots. This is precisely what happened last year.
This indicates that the number of high-skill and high-degree folks out there who want to come to the U.S. is far higher than the number this country is willing to accept. Each year, 65,000 H-1B visas are awarded to high-skill immigrants, along with 20,000 advanced degree visas for the highly educated.
In 2013, 124,000 people applied for the combined 85,000 slots in the first five-day period. If you apply in the first five days, your application is treated the same as the rest from that period. Given the massive popularity of the visas, a lottery is used to determine who gets one from that initial pool.
Does turning away highly skilled and educated people due to an artificial cap on visas sound silly? There is investment from technology companies, those where many of those applying for the visas intend to work, to change the current status quo.
High-skill immigration reform died in 2013 as a standalone entity. It was later lashed to larger immigration reform. And as such it has been stuck fast on Capitol Hill. A disgrace, certainly, but also a disgraceful reality.
Fwd.us, a group founded in part by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, has pushed for immigration reform. Joe Green, another Fwd.us founder, lambasted current law regarding the cap structure of high-skill visas in an email to TechCrunch, calling the current set of regulations “dysfunctional.” He went on to state that it is “absolutely critical that House Republicans take action on immigration reform now to do right by American families and boost the American economy.”
Given the current election cycle coming up, the chance of that is somewhat close to zero, but he has a point.