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H1B visa explained

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  • H1B visa explained

    I realized that many people are talking about "immigrants who steal their work" in the context of "hire americans" and H1B program, so I guess it might be helpful to reveal some facts about the H1B program:
    • This is the program for those who holds at least a bachelor degree or has 12 years of experience, or a combination (like you have 3 years of college + 5 years of experience).
    • The visa is issued for up to 3 years initially, and allows an extension to up to 3 years once. So the total time an immigrant can spend in USA is 6 years, after that he/she must go back to the country of birth/citizenship/etc. Get out US, that simple. It does not grant any immigration status, unlike the Diversity Visa lottery that drags 50.000 of randomly selected immigrants into USA every year.
    • the spouse of an H1B worker receives H-4 visa, and has no right to work. If you have heard about the EAD (employment authorization) for H-4 dependents (spouses) - that applies to those H1B holders, who applied for the permanent resident status through employment-based immigration (EB-1, EB-2 or EB3) only, and got the form I-140 approved.
    • USA allows 65.000 of H1B workers per year to enter the country. Also there are 20.000 of visas reserved for the foreign students who got Master degree in USA. So 85.000 in total.

    How do 85.000 of skilled workers with at least a bachelor degree steal the job from fellow americans (current population 325.471.548 according to census stats)?

    It's like 0.02%, not event statistically significant.

    So, what is so special about the H1B program that drags the attention from authorities and builds up such a hype in press releases?