H-1B Visas: 10 Numbers To Know In 2015 - InformationWeek
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5/5/2015
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H-1B Visas: 10 Numbers To Know In 2015

Statistics around this year's record-setting volume of new H-1B visa applications point to continuously growing demand for a supply that's unlikely to rise soon.
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(Image: Gulbenk)

(Image: Gulbenk)

Growing Applications, Declining Chances

If you want to gauge the current popularity of the H-1B visa program, just look at the numbers. Or perhaps we should just say number: 233,000. That one number says more than any other does about the unprecedented level of interest in H-1B visas, which enable foreign nationals to work legally in the US.

That number is the record-breaking volume of new H-1B visa applications received this year by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for federal fiscal year 2016, which will begin Oct. 1. "Unless the law changes or hiring slows down, it appears the problem is just going to get worse," said Scott Fanning, an employment attorney with Fisher & Phillips, told us for a recent article.

Applicants compete for a finite supply of H-1Bs based on the federally mandated cap of 65,000 new visas per year, with another 20,000 reserved for advanced degree-holders. With tech hiring reasonably healthy, unless the federal government increases the cap -- something Fanning doesn't expect in the near future -- the odds will get increasingly difficult for employers and would-be employees to win the visa lottery.

There are plenty of other numbers worth noting, and this article provides 10 compelling stats that help explain the H-1B program -- past, present, and future. Some data comes from USCIS reports to Congress on the program, but current data isn't always readily available, so related information sources help paint the bigger picture of the most popular IT jobs for H-1Bs and the biggest employer-applicants, which are all tech companies.

Read on for the 10 numbers that jumped out at us, including the final number on our list that's a prediction of sorts. The numbers paint a picture of demand staying high against a fixed supply, meaning prospective H-1B employers and employees alike can expect their chances of winning the lottery to become extremely slender.

Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio

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BI Scott
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BI Scott,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2015 | 5:02:58 PM
Lack of Quality Resources
I don't know where some of you are getting your data from but the real reason we need H1-B resources is because the US doesn't have qualified people to employee in many of these sectors.  It also most always costs companies more money by hiring H1's then if they could find US citizens.  The consulting companies might make more money I can first hand say that we trying to find resources on Monster.com, Dice.com and other job sites, finding US citizens qualified in tech in very difficult.  Have you ever did a search on how many tech jobs are open at companies like Google and Amazon?  Where are all these unemployed people that claim there aren't jobs aren't there for them.  If you will spend the time to retrain yourself, you can find work. 
ttn
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ttn,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/6/2015 | 9:15:36 PM
Random Lottery???
Why not issue visas more strategically, such as to those candidates most likely to contribute positively during their stay here, or from countries that are not on a mission to destroy liberty. Aid first those who - somehow - would more likely be America's friends in return. Why are we handing out such a prized, invaluable privilege on a mere throw of the dice?
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
5/6/2015 | 1:31:52 PM
H1B Visas are a scam
Given that the US is still in Depression 2.0 with millions who have stopped looking for work, it is treasonous to import foreign labor under the guise of "skilled" labor.  The bottom line is that American tech does not want to hire Americans because it would have to pay American wages rather than the deep discount it currently gets with H1B Visa holders for whom it need not pay into Soc. Sec. or any other federal taxes.  If American tech really wanted to fix the alleged problem of not enough qualified applicants then it would implement a training/apprentice program for the American workforce instead of importing cheap labor from abroad who have to be trained anyway, in most instances, by their outgoing American counterpart who is being layed off to make room for the H1B Visa employee.
DomL068
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DomL068,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2015 | 1:46:17 PM
Comments regarding H-1B Visas 10 numbers to know
Slide 6, How did you obtain or calculate the 109,000

Slide 9 the  Percentage shown 73% is not accurate for the sum of the top 5, it calculates to 83%

Very Good and Timely article
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 1:24:34 PM
Re: Employment begins at home
I'll sign on to that too. There are millions of adults who have stopped looking for work because they are so discouraged. Those who do find work tend to get burger flipper jobs which is why the minimum wage issue is so big these days.
Proxistech
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Proxistech,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2015 | 1:14:44 PM
I have a novel idea!
How about hiring some of the vast numbers of qualified unemployed Americans that need jobs desperately. Or is it just that you want cheap labor?
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 12:43:21 PM
Re: Employment begins at home
Or better yet, curtail or Eliminate this whole program until the VAST NUMBER of UNEMPLOYED US Engineers are hired. We have plenty of talent here. Let the H1's stay in their own countries and help them to advance.
John80224
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John80224,
User Rank: Strategist
5/5/2015 | 11:14:38 AM
11th number
10

What the text filled in on slide 8, "the top 10 employers, all of which are consulting firms," should be a slide unto itself.  This visa's primary existence is about demand for cheap labor, not demand for its intent.  This visa, and skilled visas in general, very much need to be drastically cleaned up before any other changes to them are contemplated.
unemployed213
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unemployed213,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2015 | 10:24:30 AM
U.S. Citizen with 25 year software engineering experience is snubbed by U.S. corporations
Subject says it all.  Corporations say they can't find US engineers.  The abhorrent truth is that they can't find a US worker that can work at 30% below market rate.

I have interviewed for 2.5 years and they always go to the cheaper labor of H-1B applicants.  Also corporations like to have H-1B employees because the holder is pretty much wedded to the company (they have to work or get kicked out of the US).  So are they going to ask for a raise or leave for another company?  Nope.

 

Let US college kids and unemployed US engineers have a shot at these jobs!  I't s a self-fulfilling prophecy....US college kids look around and say "after I spend all this money for a software engineering degree I'm competing with someone who is going to work for minimum pay".  Let's get into business management.  

 

Even STEM grads can't find jobs because of the H-1B visa abuses.

 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 9:24:34 AM
Employment begins at home
Given the poor employment prospects for many college graduates and the constant complaints from business that there are not enough qualified tech graduates, maybe it is time to curtail this program and offer incentives to Americans to pursue IT.
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