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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

WHAT THE LACK OF H-1B FILINGS REALLY MEANS

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by Chris Musillo


This year a mere 9,200 cap-subject H-1B Petitions have been filed through April 29. In prior years we have seen many more H-1B cases accepted as slots were available; in the go-go years of the 2000s, the H-1B cap was reached on the first day.


This year's paucity of H-1B Petitions provides compelling evidence against the argument that internationally-trained workers are being used to displace American workers and lower US workers' salaries. That argument just does not jibe with what is actually happening.


If H-1B visa labor was being used primarily to lower US workers salaries, the H-1B filing numbers wouldn't be impacted to any meaningful degree. Why? Because the incentive to reduce workers' salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less. This logic is straightforward.


Yet, this year we've seen a dramatic downtick in H-1B visas filed in industries like Information Technology and Finance. Meanwhile industries with continued staffing shortages, such as healthcare and teaching, continued to file H-1B Petitions. If the H-1B program was being used to lower salaries, why aren't the IT and financial industries continuing to file H-1B petitions? Are these industries not interested in cutting costs?


Critics of the H-1B system fail to acknowledge just how well the system actually works. In robust times, the H-1B system allows growing companies to attract more workers from overseas when they can't fill those jobs with US workers. In down times, when jobs are few, the market does what it is supposed to do and fewer H-1B job offers are made.


If Congress really wants to reform the H-1B process, it ought to eliminate the arbitrary quota and just let the market sort out the numbers question. Congress also ought to give non-bachelor degree occupations with well-documented staffing shortages, such as nursing, access to the H-1B program.


Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.

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  1. executive offices's Avatar
    More professionals are getting interested on filing for H-1B.
  2. US Visa Extension's Avatar
    The government restricts the number of H1B visas that can be issued by the USCIS each fiscal year. The fiscal year begins on October 1. The government can change the number of available H-1B visas at any time. Employers can file visa petitions as early as six months before the start of the fiscal year, or as of April 1 for employees that will start working on October 1. The available H1B visas are often used up in the first weeks and months after April 1.

    To qualify under this classification, one should have a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a specialty related to the offered employment. The H1B visa can be used for temporary employment in many professional fields, including engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, computer sciences, medicine and health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties.
  3. Maria's Avatar
    FAQs What is an Infopass appointment? Are tax rnuerts needed to file an I-130? What is an RFE? What is USCIS? Do I get citizenship if I marry a United States citizen? How do I get a fiancee visa? What is a K1
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