AILA: H-1B Numbers Show America is Losing Out on Talent

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC -Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received 190,098 new H-1B visa cap-subject petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, down from approximately 199,000 in FY 2018. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded:

"For the past six years, the H-1B cap has been reached within the first week of April and for the past six years, we have missed out on thousands of opportunities to build American businesses, foster innovation, and increase our shared prosperity," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, "As a lawyer who files H-1B visa petitions for small businesses in California, I know for a fact that these visas are urgently needed and that limiting the supply of visas based on numbers established more than a generation ago harms American businesses and impedes job growth. Another year with an H-1B lottery is another year Congress has failed to respond to the needs of U.S. employers in a highly competitive global marketplace."

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson agreed, saying "After an unpredictable year in which businesses have been slammed with shifting adjudication policies and increasing processing times, I can't say it is surprising to see a decrease in the volume of H-1B filings. These factors, which contribute to the administration's 'invisible wall' on immigration have forced some employers out of the process, including many new and emerging companies that need specific talent to develop innovations and grow, but who can't afford to gamble time and money on the 'maybe' of an H-1B visa. At the same time, the number of H-1B cap-subject filings remains high and with a 4.1 percent U.S. unemployment rate, the lowest we have seen in 17 years, it is clear that America is losing out on talented H-1B workers seeking to contribute their skills to the United States to help drive innovation and business growth."


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. 18041332.