• 21Apr
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Will the Economic Recovery Translate into Increased H-1B Usage? Not likely…

    The recent surge in first quarter corporate profits is reportedly translating into increased hiring for certain industries, especially the technology industry.   Some believe this rapid growth in the technology sector is the beginning of a new product cycle, often referred to as the “mobile internet tsunami“, which some believe will continue well into the foreseeable future.

    Notwithstanding the job market in the technology sector showing signs of life, U.S. unemployment remains at just under 10% and will likely remain at an inflated rate for years to come.  While employers reportedly added more than 160,000 jobs in the month of March, the biggest monthly gain in three years, a closer look at the numbers reveals roughly one-third of that growth came from the U.S. government’s hiring of 48,000 temporary workers in connection with the 2010 Census.

    So what does this recent job growth mean for U.S. employers vis-a-vis the H-1B program? Make no mistake about it, H-1B usage is down drastically from recent years.  Indeed, it is now quite evident that, despite the newly optimistic views of the economy, U.S. companies are more carefully reassessing their recruitment needs (and goals) and processing H-1B petitions only for key personnel.  This change in sentiment appears to be driven by a multitude of reasons, including (i) the high costs associated with of processing H-1B petitions; the increased scrutiny in the adjudication of H-1B petitions and in the admittance of H-1B visa holders by CBP at ports of entry; (ii) the uncertainty regarding availability of H-1B visa numbers and limited period of authorized period of stay in such classification; (iii) the emerging destinations for business other than the U.S. and increased outsourcing of work; (iv) more opportunities in emerging markets  like India and China which  used large numbers of H-1B visas in the past; and, of course, (v) the increased availability of U.S. workers due to unemployment.

    In light of all this, U.S. workers stand to gain with a host of job opportunities becoming available as the result of F-1 and H-1B visa holders returning abroad, especially those returning to India and China, who have been presented opportunities outside the U.S. by way of competitive job offers and entrepreneurial ventures.

    In sum, as has been suggested many times before by the authors of this blog, let the market drive the H-1B cap; there is no need for an arbitrary cap on H-1B visas.

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