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California may benefit if changes made to increase H-1B visas

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2014 | Employment Immigration

By now, most Americans have probably heard the phrase “immigration reform” more times than they can count. What may not be as well-known, however, are the wide-ranging repercussions that can be a result of delaying or denying applicants the highly coveted H-1B visas they seek. Businesses in California may suffer from lack of potential growth if these denials continue into the future.

H-1B visas are issued to those hopeful immigrants who are highly trained and skilled in specific areas, such as technology and the sciences. According to current statistics, there is a limit to the number of visas awarded. The current limit stands at 65,000 combined. This limit translates into more than 40,000 applicants turned away every year. Another issue that has been raised by supporters of immigrant reform is the fact that the process has become a type of lottery, based more on luck than skill, talent and true business need.

There is a new group that has responded to the necessity to revise the number of highly coveted immigrants allowed access to the vacant jobs in many tech companies. The new organization, which was founded in part by Facebook visionary Mark Zuckerberg, is striving to get the government to take action in revamping the STEM portion of immigration revision. At the moment, thousands of highly qualified workers are denied the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the industries that are lacking the skilled workers that they need. In a time when so many companies rely on internet commerce and security, the lack of internet security specialists could be critical.

Some members of Congress have allegedly stated that they do not intend to take any action to revise current rules. However, there have been more hopeful statements from other government agencies that are working to revise quotas and loosen requirements for some of the H-1B visas, including ensuring that spouses could also gain entry and find employment. California companies may possibly sooner rather than later be able to fill the highly skilled positions that they need in order to stay competitive while seeking greater innovation in the face of daily changes in business, technology and research.

Source:, “More Than 40,000 Applicants for High-Skill Visas Are Denied Each Year”, Elizabeth Kreft, April 18, 2014