Holders of H-1B visas are among the highest-paid workers in the United States, while their salaries are in the 90th percentile of all salaries in the country, meaning that they have salaries in the top ten percent of US salary earnings.
Such conclusions have been reached in the think tank Cato Institute, VisaGuide.World reports.
Through the H-1B visa program, companies and employers in the US are eligible to employ highly skilled workers from countries outside the US engaged in specific fields such as professors, lawyers, engineers, IT specialists, doctors, etc.
Despite the fact that the opponents of this visa program claim that H-1B employers pay low wages, the report of the Cato Institute has brought into light another point of view.
According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week, the median wage for all US workers last year was $45,760, while the 90th percentile for all US wages was $102,810.
In this regard, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the median wage for holders of H-1B visas in 2021 was around $108,000, or above the 90th percentile and also over double the median wage for all workers in the US.
The largest number of H-1B workers are making more than all but nearly eight percent of US workers, according to the report.
The figures provided by the same source reveal how H-1B wages have increased above the 90th percentile for the first time since the Department for Homeland and Security has reported wages for H-1B holders in 2003.
“It also shows that H‑1B wage growth has exceeded the growth for all US workers. From 2003 to 2021, the nominal median H‑1B wage increased 52 percent, while the nominal median for all US workers grew just 39 percent. If H‑1B employers could just pay whatever they want—as opponents claim—these increases would not be happening,” the statement published by the Cato Institute reads.
Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received enough requests during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year 2023 H-1B numerical allocations, taking into consideration the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.
The USCIS announced that it received more H-1B petitions than available under the quota of 85,000 new H-1B filings.
Based on the data provided by Cato Institute, in 2021, employers submitted over 300,000 registrations.
“The salary data show that the US government is turning away billions of dollars in production, decreasing tax revenue and harming US competitiveness,” the statement reads.
The report considers it unnecessary to impose an arbitrary limitation on H-1B visas, stressing that the numbers should reflect the demand of workers.