U.S. Law Center

Capping H-1B visas could result in commerce-based policy changes

For many people worldwide, the United States may be seen as the land of opportunity. And for graduate-level employees seeking to gain work experience with an American company, the H-1B visa can provide a connection to employment for those who specialize in jobs such as engineering and information technology (IT). However, considering the cap on H-1B visas, you may be unlikely to receive permission to work for a U.S. employer.

One immigrant employee's wait for approval

If you attended college stateside and have already worked within the U.S., you might anticipate continuing as an employee. However, for many applicants, that is not possible.

Leo Wang earned his graduate degree at the University of Southern California before securing a position in Silicon Valley. He applied for an H-1B work visa in April 2018. His extended student visa expired by October, when Wang's employer placed him on administrative leave due to a lack of response from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When Wang's visa still lacked approval at the end of the year, his company let him go.

How do immigration policies affect American businesses?

Companies with the largest number of H-1B visa workers include:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Intel

Due to volatility on the political landscape, it may be too soon to say how changes in immigration petitions will affect companies based in the U.S. However, considering that some of the nation's largest companies significantly benefit from workers with an approved H-1B visa, remaining aware of changes in commerce may be important to immigration policy.

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