Compete America Statement on Opening of H1-b Visa Lottery


April 3, 2017

CONTACT: Taylor Thornley Keeney • 804-543-7053 •

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Compete America, a coalition dedicated to ensuring that the United States has the highly educated and innovative workforce necessary to grow the economy and create American jobs, today issued the following statement about the 2017 H-1b visa application system, which was opened today by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

“American companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to educate and train American workers for jobs in STEM fields,” said Scott Corley, executive director of Compete America. “But our fastest growing industries also rely on the ability to recruit talent from around the world, ultimately helping to grow jobs in the U.S. and sustain America’s global competitiveness and leadership in both innovation and technology.  America’s businesses hire talented individuals in STEM fields at home and abroad, from among the top students in our nation’s universities – both American and foreign. Unfortunately, our nation’s outdated legal immigration system relies heavily on a single temporary visa category, the H-1b, to provide work authorization for every kind of highly skilled foreign professional we recruit to join our workforce.  This oversubscription not only exhausts the supply of H-1b’s every year within days, it also fuels chaos, inefficiencies and criticism around the program.”

“Congress needs to reform our highly skilled immigration system to create the certainty and confidence U.S. employers, U.S. workers, and foreign professionals deserve,” Corley continued.  “Our coalition continues to work with members of Congress and the Trump Administration to create a highly skilled immigration system that, rather than stifling economic growth, enables American companies to grow good paying jobs in the US.”

To learn more about the benefits of highly educated foreign-born professionals to the U.S. economy, visit