It has been 5 days now since the H1B season started and there is no indication whether the H1B Cap was reached on the first day or not. The stakes are higher this year as the economy rebounds.
According to computer world, some law makers think that the cap should be increased to certain industries and keep other out of the game.
A top Republican lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Thursday said the H-1B visa plays a “vital role” in the economy and thus its cap should be increased.
But Smith, perhaps recognizing the difficulties of raising the contentious visa cap, offered an alternative that would make more H-1B visas available to tech firms while cutting the number of professions that could apply for the visas.
About half of all H-1B visas are used by technology companies, but there’s a long list of other industries that use it as well, to hire fashion models, pastry chefs, dancers, social workers and photographers, Smith said.
Smith said he’s “not sure” whether some of those non-tech occupations “are as crucial to our success in the global economy as are computer scientists.”
“If Congress doesn’t act to increase the H-1B cap, we may need to examine what sort of workers should qualify for the H-1B visa,” Smith said at a hearing Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.
The committee’s hearing on the H-1B visa included talk of expanding the use of green cards, particularly for foreign advanced degree graduates of U.S. universities, as an alternative to H-1B visas. President Barack Obama has signaled he would amenable to such a change in his State of Union address.
That could be an interesting idea, but I am not sure if choosing a few particular industries for the visa could be the best solution.