It's Not Just the Tech Industry — Fashion Hit Hard by H-1B Visa Controversy

Featured Image for It's Not Just the Tech Industry — Fashion Hit Hard by H-1B Visa Controversy

Although the number of applications for an H-1B visa is substantially lower for international models than those in the tech industry, more of models' visas are granted. In fact, according to Inc., models enjoy a success rate of visa grants over tech professionals by 51 percent to 28 percent. So, how would the H-1B controversy affect the modeling industry?

A Glimpse at the Modeling Profession

  • Models are the only H-1B applicant category who don't require a bachelor's degree
  • Models with an H-1B visa make considerably more money than American models, as H-1B models make on average $161,000 per year and American models make on average $27,330 per year, Inc. reports
  • More than half of H-1B visa models work for New York-based firms, Inc. reports

The Impact of the Proposed Regulations

According to TheStreet, the New York fashion industry generates more than $10.9 billion in total wages for those employed individuals, which creates $2 billion in tax revenue. However, the fashion industry is an industry that relies upon undocumented immigrants. In fact, nationwide, TheStreet reports that undocumented immigrants comprise 20 percent of all workers in U.S. clothing and manufacturing and 4.2 percent of all workers in wholesale retail and trade.

According to The Council of Fashion Designers of America and, several immigration issues impact the fashion industry, including H-1B visas. The three top concerns are:

  • Access to top talent
  • Retaining current talent
  • High cost and difficulty navigating the immigration system

The tech sector isn't the only industry that could be impacted by potential visa regulation changes, along with other potential immigration rules. Other, fiscally influential industries — such as the fashion industry — could be impacted as well.

Stay up-to-date on the latest workforce trends and insights for HR leaders: subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.