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Number of H-1B Visa Holders in the U.S. the Lowest it Has Been in Over a Decade

According to statistics recently released by the Department of Labor (DoL), the number of H-1B visa holders in the U.S. has decreased by 9% since 2020 and 17% since 2019, this decrease is the biggest in over a decade. Mainly, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects and government legislation passed in prior years can be attributed to the decrease. 

Previously, the Trump administration banned certain visa holders (including H-1B visa holders) from entering the U.S. to protect American jobs when the COVID-19 pandemic was just getting started. With the pandemic in full effect, U.S. embassies and consulates around the world closed, slowing down and even halting U.S. visa processing. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down all forms of immigration and are still being felt today with U.S. immigration services working at a slower pace than pre-COVID.

Within the H-1B visa category, the job classifications that have seen the most decline are in the engineering and mathematics fields. Within these two classifications, H-1B holders are both down 19% when compared to pre-COVID levels in 2019. 

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