Temporary visas for highly skilled workers, known as H-1Bs, help America's leading industries access the specialized talent they need to innovate and grow. The rapidly expanding and evolving needs of highly technical professions — vital across most industries — are experiencing a critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills shortage. H-1B visas are an essential resource to bridge the gap for jobs like data management and analysis, cloud computing and mobile app development, and they keep operations and innovation moving forward while we address our domestic STEM shortage at the systemic level.
Take Mike Krieger, the Brazilian-born co-founder of Instagram, who studied symbolic systems at Stanford University before creating his famous mobile app. Without an H-1B visa, Krieger could not have remained in the U.S. after college, and he might never have gone on to develop his renowned app.
"It took less time to build Instagram than it did for me to get my work visa," attests Krieger, who continues to operate Instagram, a 200-employee, $35 billion Silicon Valley company.
Each year on April 1, the U.S. issues only 65,000 visas, a cap that is reached in less than one day owing to the hundreds of thousands of applications submitted by businesses seeking talented professionals. Immigration — both permanent and temporary — is a linchpin of U.S. economic progress, American values, and national competitiveness.