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Lawyers Who Are On Your Side

Recapturing unused visas could help the domestic economy

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Visas

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes thousands of visa applications every year. This process involves reviewing the paperwork submitted by an applicant and then performing a thorough background check. Factors including someone’s medical records and criminal history, as well as overall demand for visas, will influence someone’s likelihood of success.

The USCIS oversees numerous different visa programs, from the H-1B visas available for skilled workers on a lottery basis to U-visas available for victims of certain crimes. Applicants must find the right visa program, submit the proper documentation and meet all the standards enforced by the USCIS to obtain a visa.

Many employment visa programs are subject to restrict annual limits, and the USCIS does not always hand out the full amount of available visas because it simply doesn’t have a chance to process that many applications. Lawmakers have recently started talking about those unissued visas and the impact that they could have on the domestic economy.

What does recovering lost visas involve?

Lawmakers have proposed an adjustment to current immigration statutes that would allow them to quantify and recover the visas not granted in prior years. Visas that expired because the USCIS could not process applications quickly enough could end up facilitating immigration years later.

This program could potentially lead to tens of thousands of new employment immigration opportunities for those in skilled and educated professions with high domestic demand and insufficient domestic workers capable of filling those roles. Obviously, an influx of highly-compensated and skilled workers could lead to numerous benefits for the domestic economy, including their contributions to businesses and their need for housing and other basic living necessities.

Many visa programs remain highly competitive

While recovering expired visas could absolutely facilitate improved immigration opportunities for many professionals, the law has yet to pass, let alone go through the implementation stage where it will have real-world implications for prospective immigrants.

Many of the best visa programs remain highly competitive and/or only allow visas to be awarded on a lottery basis. Immigrants and employers vying for those visas will have a better chance of success when they avoid mistakes when applying for them. Seeking legal guidance and learning more about changing immigration policy can benefit those hoping to lawfully enter the United States or bring employees to the country.