US sees a decline in foreign workers reports new study by NFAP


In the past two years, the US has seen a significant decline in new foreign workers coming to the country for temporary work.

This decrease can be mainly attributed to the effect of the pandemic which has kept many jobs unfilled.

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a nonpartisan research organization, had done a study in this matter and found that the number of H-1B specialty occupations visas issued fell from almost 190,000 in the fiscal year 2019 to about 125,000 in the fiscal year 2020 and under 62,000 in the fiscal year 2021.

Other work visas such as H-2 (for low skill, non-agricultural work) or J-1 exchange visitor visas also showed significant drops.

Madeline Zavodny, a Research Fellow at the NFAP, who authored this study says, “The ongoing shortages of workers in many labor markets reflect US employers’ need for additional workers from both domestic sources and abroad.

The research also examines data on job postings and the results point to jobs, particularly highly-skilled jobs, going unfilled when temporary foreign workers were unable to enter the country.”

Currently, US employers are preparing for the annual H-1B cap lottery. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the registration window for the fiscal year 2023, will open on March 1 and close on March 18.

Thus, there is a short period of time, within which sponsoring employers must register each beneficiary for whom they want to file an H-1B visa.

If USCIS reaches the annual quota by March 18, the immigration agency will conduct a random lottery to select registrations and notify selection results by March 31.

Immigration attorneys anticipate a large number of registrations to obtain one of the 85,000 H-1B cap visas (which include Masters cap of 20,000) that will ultimately be allotted.

Immigration attorneys had pointed out two reasons behind the need for additional lottery runs: owing to the pandemic sponsoring employers did not follow up and file visa applications for those beneficiaries selected in the registration cum lottery process, or there were instances of multiple registrations for the same person.