The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday will start accepting petitions for the fiscal year 2018 to allow companies in the United States to temporarily employ skilled foreign workers, amid an ongoing debate among lawmakers to either tighten or reform existing regulations governing this process.
But clamping down on the so-called H-1B program and tightening U.S. companies' access to a skilled labor pool may not be beneficial, according to James Crabtree, a visiting senior research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.
"It doesn't make a lot of economic sense to deny companies the ability to do this," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.
The program caters to specialty fields such as science, engineering and information technology, where there tend to be a shortage of skilled domestic workers. As a result companies tend to look globally in order to bring in talented employees into their ranks.
The U.S. government awards 65,000 regular H-1B visas every year through a lottery system, and another 20,000 visa to those holding a U.S. master's degree or higher qualifications.