A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

H-1B Worker Population Estimated to be 583,420

USCIS has recently posted a detailed report on the current H-1B worker population. The population of H-1B workers in the country authorized through September 30, 2019 (FY 2019) is estimated to be 583,420. 

This number was reached after accounting for workers who changed their status or who were denied a visa at a consulate after their H-1B was approved. Of the net authorized population, 2,100 were consular denials, 1,475 changed status, and 32,332 adjusted status (became permanent residents). 

Numbers from the past three years show a cyclical pattern in unique H-1B beneficiary population. The population is lowest by the end of the fiscal year, which is also the end of H-1B cap season. It peaks by the end of the first quarter of the new fiscal year, increasing around 10% from the previous quarter. It remains level for two more quarters, then lowers again as cap season progresses. This makes sense as most initial H-1Bs are approved to begin and end with the fiscal year. 

The two scenarios that the report does not account for is when the H-1B beneficiary is denied entry at the U.S. border by Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) and when the beneficiary abandons their H-1B status by leaving the country permanently or not entering at all.

Despite the current administration's numerous efforts to tighten requirements and curb entry, H-1B workers have increased yearly from 2016-2019. Before accounting for repeat beneficiaries, H-1B workers on September 30 were found to be around 564,663 in 2016, 592,725 in 2017, 591,745 in 2018, and 619,327 in 2019.

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