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NFAP Report Finds High Demand for H-1B Technology Workers

According to an analysis of government data obtained by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) for 2017-2018, more H-1B visas are going to U.S. technology companies, reflecting the strong demand for high-skilled talent in the U.S. economy, and fewer visas are being used by Indian-based companies, which continues a recent trend.

NFAP said that the new USCIS data appeared to undermine the argument that the federal government should impose new restrictions on H-1B visas and keep the visas at a low annual limit of 85,000 for companies, which equals only 0.05% of the U.S. labor force of 160 million. H-1B temporary visas are important as they are typically the only practical way a high-skilled foreign national working abroad or an international student educated in the United States can work long-term in America.

Below is a list of key findings in the NFAP report:

  • The demand for H-1B visas reflects, in part, the composition of students in key tech fields in the United States. At U.S. universities, 81% of the full-time graduate students in electrical engineering and 79% in computer science are international students.

  • Emerging technologies, such as driverless vehicles, may also be increasing the demand for people with high levels of technical skill, including foreign-born researchers. Tesla (207 approved new H-1B petitions in FY 2017), Uber (158) and General Motors (179) all employ individuals in H-1B status.

  • H-1B visa holders contribute to productivity growth and can lead to higher wages for natives.

  • According to U.S. government data, 60% of H-1B visa holders approved for initial employment possess a master’s degree or higher.

According to a recent NFAP analysis of government data found, NFAP suggests that likely in response to recent administration policies, international students may be having second thoughts about coming to America. It advises the Congress and the President’s administration to focus on reforms to raise the annual number of H-1B visas, increase the labor mobility of H-1B visa holders, raise the employment-based green card quota and eliminate the per country limit.

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