AILA on Reaching of H-1B Cap

Thursday, June 1, 2006

George Tzamaras


Once Again Arbitrary Cap is Damaging US Businesses Ability to Hire Global Talent

WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 1 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced today that it has met the 65,000 H-1B congressionally mandated cap for the 2007 fiscal year, which means that companies that need workers with critical skills will have to wait more than a year before they can obtain this needed expertise. "This is unprecedented. It marks the second year in a row that the H-1B cap has been prematurely reached said Deborah J. Notkin, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). "It is another example of the country's broken immigration system and why we need Congress to pass the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill which solves this annual dilemma."

"It's just more bad news for American employers," continued Notkin. "The exhaustion of this fiscal year's H-1B visas impedes growth and innovation, and makes it more difficult for U.S. businesses to stay competitive. Some employers are sending work overseas, because there are not enough qualified Americans. A workable H-1B program with an increased initial limit and flexibility to adjust the limit based on economic conditions would give U.S. employers access to the talent they need and help retain jobs in America diminishing the need for off-shoring."

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa category allows U.S. employers to augment the existing labor force with highly skilled international workers, such as research scientists, to provide expertise to American companies for temporary periods. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years.

The H-1B visa is utilized by U.S. businesses and other organizations to employ international workers in specialty occupations that require specialized expertise. Typical H-1B occupations include scientists, architects, engineers, systems analysts, accountants, doctors, and college professors.


Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, professional services and expertise. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration, as well as providing liaison with other government agencies in support of pro-immigration initiatives. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association and is represented in the ABA House of Delegates.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 06060110.