The US is drastically behind in reforming the conditions for the H-1B visa; the visa for skilled migrant workers. These conditions have not changed for over 20 years, even though the country desperately needs them to change.
H-1B visa valuable addition to US immigration system
The H-1B visa programme has been a valuable part of the US immigration system since 1990. However, its operation and implementation has lagged behind for several decades while the country is desperate for labour migrants. It is precisely the immigration of highly skilled workers that stimulates the growth of the economy and American business.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to hire foreign workers for specialised occupations that require technical or theoretical experience. The H-1B visa is the most requested work visa among foreign professionals. Companies in the technology sector in particular depend on this visa so that they can hire thousands of workers from China or India, for example, every year.
Few work visas available for foreign workers
In the past 20 years, no additional work visas have been made available for labour migrants. Between 2005 and 2022, the number has stagnated at 85,000. This makes it difficult for American companies to find new and qualified staff. Mia Love, a former Republican Congresswoman, emphasised this by saying that the labour shortage is the cause of the current record high inflation in the country.
She added that the US economy is not only made up of physicists, engineers and artificial intelligence experts, but farmers, livestock dealers and retailers ensure that the shelves in the shops are full. The labour shortage that exists in these sectors contributes to high prices for healthcare, food, and other basic needs. By helping to create jobs in these very sectors, it will curb inflation and promote economic growth.
H-1B-visum of ESTA?
If you do not intend to work in the United States, you will need to apply for an ESTA instead of a work visa. An ESTA is an electronic travel authorisation that allows you to travel to the USA without a visa. The advantage of an ESTA is that the costs are much lower than for a visa. An ESTA is usually granted within 3 days, and in case of an urgent application, even within 60 minutes. The ESTA is valid for two years from the date of approval and allows you to stay in the USA for up to 90 consecutive days.