H-1B Visa Limits Could Challenge Tech Companies

Lowered caps on H-1B work visas, which allow foreign nationals to work in the United States for a specified period of time, could put U.S. tech companies in a difficult spot, an immigration law expert recently told InformationWeek.

From a pre-recession high of 200,000, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has set a limit of 65,000 H-1B visas for the upcoming fiscal year, and businesses have applied for fewer than half that number, according to InformationWeek. However, Ted Ruthizer, the former chair of the New York State Bar Association’s immigrant law committee, said demand for the work visa is set to skyrocket.

Ruthizer told the source that tech companies in particular rely on highly skilled foreign workers from India and China, and as the economy stabilizes, demand for H-1B visas will exceed the current limits, which he called “artificial.”

If they are unable to acquire needed H-1B visas, employers might consider alternative routes for bringing workers to the country. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency recently launched a new webpage clarifying EB-2 visa regulations. EB-2 visas are granted to foreign workers who have an advanced degree or otherwise demonstrate exceptional skills in their occupation.