The H-1B visa is the most popular pathway for foreigners to work in the United States.
It is also widely believed that the H-1B program is abused.
Among the most common complaints: Visas aren’t just given to the most highly trained workers. Companies use H-1B visas to get cheap foreign labor. Startups lose out to big outsourcing firms, which gobble up a disproportionate share of the visas.
The debate over the program has never been so important or timely.
President Trump has said he wants to crack down on misuse of work visas. A draft executive order that started circulating in January would alter numerous visa programs, including the H-1B.
In addition, several legislative efforts in Congress, from Republicans and Democrats, aim to change how the program works.
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There are 85,000 H-1B visas available annually, and in recent years, demand for them has far exceeded the supply. As a result, the visas are doled out by a lottery system.
All kinds of companies, from health care to media, use H-1B visas to help fill their workforces. But tech is the sector most commonly associated with H-1Bs. Tech firms — big and small — say they need the H-1B program to hire trained talent that it can’t find at home.
The facts surrounding H-1Bs are shaded in gray. Here is what you need to know about three major issues in the debate.
Complaint #1: Visas aren’t given to only the most highly trained workers […]
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Tech’s beloved H-1B visa is flawed. Here’s why.