The software company Microsoft hosted an immigration roundtable in Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday morning with industry and policy leaders to talk about the skilled worker pipeline in the U.S., particularly the cap on H-1B visas, according to the Washington Post. Talk ranged from policy prescriptions to where the demand for H-1B visa workers is most concentrated.
H-1B visa allows employers to hire foreigners to work in specialty occupations on a temporary basis up to six years. With sponsorship from their employers, H-1B visa holders may apply for permanent residence.
Employers requesting the most H-1B visas are large companies subject to the cap specializing in information technology, consulting, and electronics manufacturing, according to a July report by the Brookings Institution. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations account for almost two-thirds of requests for H-1B workers; healthcare, finance, business, and life sciences occupations are also in high demand, according to the report.
Microsoft is the top H-1B visa sponsor, a temporary visa for high skilled workers that allows them to apply for permanent status after three years.