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ImmigrationBusiness demand for temporary visas, green cards to rise in 2014

Published 18 September 2013

In its newly released 2013 Annual Business Immigration Survey, the Global Immigration Benchmarking Council (GIBC) reports that business demand for temporary visas and green cards continues to rise. Thirty-four percent of companies anticipate hiring more H-1B visa holders in the year ahead, while 25 percent of companies anticipate hiring additional H-2A or H-2B workers.

In its newly released 2013 Annual Business Immigration Survey, the Global Immigration Benchmarking Council (GIBC) reports that business demand for temporary visas and green cards continues to rise. Thirty-four percent of companies anticipate hiring more H-1B visa holders in the year ahead, while 25 percent of companies anticipate hiring additional H-2A or H-2B workers. Respondents state that the projected increase is due to business demand and the unavailability of U.S. workers. The survey, co-sponsored by ImmigrationWorks USA and Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, reflects responses from the business community across a variety of industries.

Additional survey findings reveal that:

  • Businesses rely on the H-2A and H-2B visa programs due to the unavailability of U.S. workers, but find government regulations and wage requirements to be burdensome.
  • Access to H-1B visas was the top concern for many companies, with close to 30 percent of respondents stating that it was the most challenging issue they faced when hiring high-skilled foreign workers.
  • Most companies that use E-Verify would recommend the program to their peers; however, they feel there should be a safe harbor if they use the system in good faith.
  • The majority of companies do not pass on visa costs to employees, with over two-thirds of respondents saying that the company pays for all immigration-related costs.

ImmigrationWorks USA CEO Tamar Jacoby stated that “The message is crystal clear: employers need immigrant workers to fill jobs when there aren’t enough willing and able Americans. The H-2B temporary worker program is getting harder and harder to use - more expensive and wrapped up in red tape. But more than 60 percent of employers who participate say they’ll apply again next year, in many cases for more workers. Congress needs to act to make these programs work for the economy.”

Lynden Melmed, a partner at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP in Washington, D.C., noted that “The results of our survey confirm that U.S. businesses are projecting increased demand for foreign temporary workers. But absent Congressional action, companies in almost every industry will be shut out of key visa programs. An H-1B visa application may only have a 50 percent chance of being accepted in next year’s visa lottery.”

— Read more in Annual Business Immigration Survey (September 2013)