H-1B is a popular visa type yet it’s always surrounded by myths and controversies. In fact, a lot of people are not aware of the benefits of the program and how it helps the economy as the H-1B visa program is usually in the news for all the wrong reasons.
There’s a dire need to understand this important visa program and debunk the myths. Let’s get started:
#1 It Is Bad for Local Workers and the Economy
This is one of the biggest myths surrounding the visa program as it involves importing human resource from other countries. Most people assume the H-1B visa program is all about replacing our current workforce with foreign workers.
This is untrue as the visa program covers only qualified employees when “there is a lack of qualified workers in the country.”
Businesses are also required to submit documents “to prove that it does not intend to displace any local worker to make space for the H-1B candidate and that the hiring has not caused or will not cause stoppages.”
The visa program is designed to help the economy and covers various specialized fields including engineering, technology, business administration, IT, social sciences, biological, mathematics, and fashion.
Businesses turn to H-1B visa only when there are no qualified workers available in the country. Without such visa programs, it would be hard for businesses to flourish.
Consider the stats; a 2016 report highlighted the gap in vacancies and the number of available employees. The report concluded there are 4 advertised job posts (online) for every single unemployed person in the category of “mathematical science and computers”.
There would be a lot of vacancies if it wasn’t possible to hire foreign workers.
#2 It Populates the Country with Low-skilled Employees
This is another myth as H1B is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa category that only covers highly qualified professionals. The visa program does not offer permanent residence and only allows “foreigners to work in the US for up to six years”.
#3 It Only Covers a Few Countries
This myth exists due to 6800 visas being reserved for the citizens of Singapore and Chile. While the nationals of these countries enjoy some benefits, the fact remains that the visa is open to the nationals of all the countries for as long as they qualify.
#4 The Program is Full of Frauds
This is again nothing but a myth. There are checks and balances in place to ensure the proper working of the system.
Several departments including the Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) get involved during the process to ensure there are no cheats and frauds. The procedure is lengthy and there are different verification methods to ensure only those who deserve a chance get an approval.
It is important to not believe what others tell you and to speak to the experts.