H-1B Program’s Impact on Wages, Jobs, and the Economy

"Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly skilled foreign professionals have rolled the dice on April 1 and submitted their applications for the limited pool of H-1B visas available each fiscal year.  With only 65,000 visas available for new hires - and 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a Master’s or Doctorate from a U.S. university - in recent years demand has far outstripped the supply and the cap has been quickly reached.  Understanding the H-1B process is important to understanding the vital economic role that higher-skilled immigration plays in growing our economy and creating new opportunities for native and foreign-born workers alike.  H-1B workers do not harm native-born workers’ job opportunities, are not poorly compensated, and are not “cheap foreign labor.”  In fact, their presence often leads to higher wages and more job opportunities.  Highly skilled immigrants complement their native-born peers; they do not substitute for them.  This is true throughout high-skilled occupations, but is particularly true in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  Arguments that foreign-born workers and immigrants are depressing wages or displacing native-born workers are contradicted by the available evidence.  The following guide answers the questions most often asked and debunks the most prevalent myths about the H-1B program." - AIC, Apr. 2, 2014.