AILA: Deluge of H-1B Applications Exposes Artificial Limit as Roadblock to Economic Growth from Outdated System

April 7, 2015

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC — Leslie A. Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), commented on today's announcement from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the agency has received more than enough petitions to reach the 85,000 maximum new H-1B visas that are available for fiscal year 2016, with the following statement:

"The H-1B program helps employers address temporary specialty-skilled workforce needs, make U.S. businesses more competitive, create jobs and grow the economy. But, once again, our country's outdated and inefficient immigration laws are blocking economic gains and business growth by artificially limiting the number of new H-1B visas that can be issued in any one year. This year, as in the past several as the recovery really got going, a deluge of petitions for H-1B visas were filed that exceeds the limit, and now USCIS will be holding a lottery to determine which of those petitions will actually be considered. All others will be returned, without even a review.

"This year, yet again, we see the serious shortcoming in the H-1B visa process. Market demand should factor into how many visas are granted. The inverse happens, as we saw during the economic downturn, when demand for H-1Bs slowed. So why, when the economy is bouncing back, are we throwing obstacles up in its way? How much more obvious can the problem of lack of visas be?

"If a company was using dial-up internet these days we'd be surprised at the time they're wasting and the productivity they're losing. So why is our country stuck with an outdated visa cap that makes businesses run less efficiently? It's long past time that our immigration system be upgraded to one that actually meets our economic needs and fits the 21st century global economy."


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15004070.