USCIS Estimates Over 580,000 H-1B Visa Holders
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reported an estimated 583,420 H-1B visa holders in the U.S. as of September 30, 2019, according to Forbes.
“All aliens included in this number are nonimmigrants who have received authorization from USCIS and the Department of State (if applicable) to work in an H-1B specialty occupation,” according to the USCIS report.
Before USCIS subtracted people who “have not adjusted to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, changed to another nonimmigrant status, or been denied a visa to the United States by a U.S. consulate,” there were 619,327 “total authorized unique beneficiaries.”
The estimate of 583,420 was overstated as USCIS failed to minus “aliens who held a valid H-1B visa/status but have abandoned their visa/status … or who with a valid H-1B visa/status but were denied entry by Customs and Border Protection at the ports of entry.”
The number would drop below 300,000 if people waiting in the “employment-based immigrant backlog” received green cards immediately.
As of November 2019, there were more than 350,000 Indian, 38,000 Chinese, and 5,000 Filipino professionals waiting years for green cards due to the 7% per-country limits and low annual limits.
“In 2017, these limits amounted to 25,620 immigrants from any single country,” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Per-country limits force Indians to bear nearly the entire burden of a broken system with more recent immigrants facing lifetime waits for green cards,” said David Bier of the Cato Institute.
A provision in Donald Trump’s presidential proclamation suggested screening H-1B visa holders through a more restricted “labor certification” process again. It has raised concerns about whether high-skilled immigrants will be force out of the United States.