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Immigration Trends 2022: Employment-Based Immigration Needs Reform – Work Visas

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U.S. employers largely support the current administration’s
handling of employment-based immigration, with 70% of respondents
in our survey stating approval and just 23% stating

Even so, employers are seeking alternatives outside the U.S. to
hire and retain foreign talent because of outstanding issues with
the U.S. immigration system.

“The lack of significant reform to the immigration system
continues to stifle employers.”

What Immigration Reforms are Most Important?

Employers surveyed in the 2022 Immigration Trends Report said
that they would like to see various reforms to the U.S. immigration
system. Their top three reforms are:

  • Faster U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    processing times

  • More digitization of processes

  • Better transparency

An overwhelming 80% of respondents considered faster USCIS
processing times to be either “very important” (38%) or
“extremely important” (42%). Nearly the same number of
respondents considered increased processing transparency from USCIS
to be either “very important” (37%) or “extremely
important” (38%).

In the past few years, more government agencies have digitized their
immigration processes
, which has helped to reduce
application wait and processing times. One of the biggest changes
in that respect was the government’s implementation of the H-1B
electronic registration system. A
clear majority of respondents (77%) prefer the current system
compared to the prior method of submission.

Respondents prefer the H-1B electronic registration system
because it has made the H-1B cap process simpler, saved their
companies money and allowed them to submit more employees into the

While employers like the H-1B electronic registration system,
they hope for even more changes to the immigration system.

Removing or raising quotas for non-immigrant visas and removing
country caps for green cards ranked high on employers’ wish
list for reforms. Most respondents surveyed (91%) want to see an
increase in the number of non-immigrant visas available each year.
The same percentage hope to see a reform in the green card process by either removing
per-country caps or increasing the total number of green cards
available every year.


Top Immigration Provisions

Survey participants also shared the top three immigration
provisions they want to see Congress address. Most respondents
(57%) want to see citizenship granted to individuals who currently
have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. About
47% want Congress to create more employment-based visa categories,
and 35% hope to see quotas raised on the number of H-1B visas


Outsourcing and Work Abroad

While some barriers have been removed for employers within the
current U.S. immigration system, companies say that they are
turning to alternative methods to deal with ongoing issues in the
U.S. immigration system. Twenty-three percent of respondents said
their company has outsourced work to third parties, and 8% said
they explicitly moved work overseas due to the limitations of the
current U.S. immigration system

Visa processing delays are causing about 25% of respondents to
lose prospective candidates. Respondents are also increasing their
staff and/or budgets to deal with the challenges of the U.S.
immigration system. About 24% are pursuing advocacy efforts to
identify and propose solutions for the U.S. immigration system that
may positively impact their hiring and retention strategies.

Due to challenges in the country’s immigration system, about
19% of respondents said that they are hiring fewer foreign


While employers generally approve of the employment-based
immigration system in 2022, they also feel that there is more work
to be done to help fill open jobs with high skilled foreign

From raising quotas on the H-1B and other visas, to further
digitizing government processes, employers voiced their main
concerns and wish list of items on many immigration issues. Read
the full 2022 Immigration Trends Report to dive deeper into
immigration trends.

Read the 2022 Immigration Trends Report

Originally published 6 July 2022

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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