Tom Mihalek | Reuters
A demonstrator holds a sign to protest against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 4, 2017.
The ideas that the H-1B visa program is “limiting American jobs is a fallacy,” Foundation Capital General Partner Paul Holland told CNBC on Tuesday.
President Trump’s call for the review of the H-1B visa program, has many tech companies in Silicon Valley worried about possible limitations on the visas for high skilled immigrant workers.
“The concept behind limiting the H-1B visas we think is a pretty bad idea overall,” said Holland. “I think the notion that somehow…we’re limiting American jobs for these highly trained engineers and highly trained technical people is a fallacy,” he said.
Holland says any drastic changes to the program could have dire consequences for tech innovation in the U.S. “We cannot graduate enough highly trained engineers in this country or in Canada or the UK or other places we draw from,” he said. With the U.S. tech ecosystem creating jobs across the board worldwide he says we are not in a position to hire the best people without access to international talent.
Yet, we’ve seen a decline in the number of employers seeking H-1B visas. There are only 199,000 applications for admission in 2018, down from 236,000 last year. Gartner said, “It’s probably to some extent related to individual people deciding do I want to come into the country in this environment or would I rather take a job in another country where it may be more welcoming for me and my family?”
Of those 199,000 applications, 85,000 will be accepted, according to the latest guidelines from the Citizenship and Immigration Services web site.