Foreign workers fill a critical need in the U.S. labor market—particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly skilled foreign professionals compete for the pool of H-1B visa numbers for which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) controls the allocation. With a low statutory limit of visa numbers available, demand for H-1B visa numbers has outstripped the supply in recent years, and the cap has been reached before the year ends. Research shows that H-1B workers complement U.S. workers, fill employment gaps in many STEM occupations, and expand job opportunities for all.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the H-1B visa category and petition process, addresses the myths perpetuated about the H-1B visa category, and highlights the key contributions H-1B workers make to the U.S. economy.