According to a USCIS News Release: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013. Yesterday, June 11, 2012, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013.”
This is much earlier than last year and the increased demand indicates that U.S. companies are being restrained in their efforts to grow by these arbitrary limits on H-1B petitions. Forcing the best and brightest from around the world to return to their home countries does not make much sense.
It is an often-repeated fallacy that the H-1B program takes jobs away from equally qualified U.S. workers. Remember that H-1B employers must pay the higher of the prevailing or the actual wage to beneficiaries. Frequently the prevailing wage is substantially higher than what an employer normally pays for a particular position. Moreover, legal and filing fees that must be borne by an employer are often substantial (H-1B filing fees alone range from $325 to $2325). It logically follows that in the great majority of cases, employers hire H-1B candidates when they believe they are the best fit for the company’s needs. They are in no way “cheap labor” as the wage offered must be at least what is offered to U.S. workers and there are legal and filing fees. Moreover, the bureaucracy and paperwork requirements that are unavoidable when dealing with two federal government agencies (the DOL and the USCIS) are added responsibilities that employers do not have to deal with when hiring U.S. workers.