Photo: H1-B Visa
The top immigration panel in the House of Representatives will examine the H-1B visa program this morning, just a day before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting H-1B applications from companies. H-1B Visas are temporary employer-sponsored work visas for highly skilled workers in specialty occupations. They run for three years, are renewable once, and are capped at 65,000 with 20,000 additional spots available for foreigners who earned advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from American universities.
Alex Nowrasteh, Policy Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit public policy organization, welcomes H-1B visa and immigration reform that allows more foreign skilled workers to move to the United States. He lays out the reasons and evidence in the seminal study H-1B Visas: A Case for Open Immigration of Highly Skilled Workers.
“People are the ultimate resource and source of economic growth,” says Nowrasteh. “The United States should remove the cap, lower the fees, deregulate and allow skilled foreigners to move here. Many of our American ancestors came immigrated with important skills that enriched our nation. Today it’s the same story – only the law stands in the way.”
“Firms petition for H-1Bs when they are expanding, so the quotas, fees, and lotteries amount to a huge tax on business expansion – the last thing a recovering economy needs,” said Nowrasteh. “The immigration laws are like the tax code: They make Americans poorer, less competitive and unproductive.”
Overall, the U.S. economy has a lot of rebuilding to do after the economic destruction of recent years. A first step is reforming our H-1B visa program to make it easier and less expensive for businesses to hire the high-skilled workers America needs right now.