- Thirty-six percent of U.S. employers responding to a recent survey said that not enough green cards are available each year; 41% said too few H-1B visas are available, according the December Envoy Global results.
- The report noted that "[b]etween 2017 and 2019, the issuance rate for Requests for Evidence (RFEs), which require employers to submit additional information for a visa petition and typically signal an increased risk of a denial, rose from 21% to 40.2%." As a result, 45% of employers said the process has become more cumbersome, 29% withdrew offers, 22% conducted layoffs and 20% stopped recruiting for certain positions. Those in entry-level roles were more affected, but employers also reported significant impacts for mid-level and senior roles.
- Additional major policy changes over the last four years, such as changes to green card policy, including an in-person interview requirement, COVID-19 precautions and changes to the H-1B education and wage requirements have increased costs and complications for reaching the international talent pool, according to Envoy’s survey data.
Employers have complained in recent years that the Trump administration’s immigration policies have caused frustration, with many believing that expansion in Canada and other countries may become a popular option for U.S.-based companies that still rely on international talent, particularly those in the technology industry or those who employ tech workers because such talent is at a premium domestically. The Biden administration's approach is believed to be more friendly to immigration.
The H-1B education and pay requirements mentioned in the Envoy Global report were recently finalized after an earlier attempt was struck down in court. This comes after a string of attempts at restricting immigration over the previous year.
In April 2020, an executive order restricting immigration including for those with visas. A new executive order in June 2020 kept the limits in place; it was later extended through March 2021. In August 2020, the administration attempted to redo the fee structure for H-1B applications, but that was eventually shut down in court as well.