April 1, 2009: H-1B Visa Status Update for FY2010

Deadline day is only 2 days away! While most Americans have little to no idea the significance of April 1 each year, beyond the annual April Fool’s Day pranks, the biggest prank of all is being felt by foreigners hoping to get a US work visa in a crazy immigration system.

This year, even more than recent years, will be even more crazy because some politicians and elements of the media have made it their mission to do everything to hurt the cause of the immigrant. Even though they will never mention the history of the US as an immigrant country…and tell their consituents that if they had  their way, great people like Albert Einstein in the past and the Brin family (son Sergei Brin, founder of Google) would probably be barred from coming too.

Because of the EAWA (Employ Americans Work Act) provision of the TARP stimulus funding that many financial institutions in particular have received like Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, these companies are almost completely limited in hiring foreigners this year. Bank of America has to rescind offers to a large number of highly credential Masters Degree students from Ivy League schools just because they happened to be foreign born.

Good Luck America trying to convince people you are not xenophobic, that you are the land of opportunity and a melting pot of cultures when you make short sighted decisions like that to help save your economy. Remember it was the US politicians and US Chief Executives who caused the mess we are all now in and now you are listening to these same people who are blaming a few thousand annual highly skilled immigrants for the problems.

Rationale people no where the blame really lies

The US Government has said this law will be in place for 2 years meaning that in 2011, these companies will be able to hire foreigners again.

Other things you should know are that companies like Microsoft are locating their Research and Development facilities in places like Canada as they are more open to hiring the best talent in the world. So really the US is costing itslef both corporate and employee tax dollars by its draconian immigration policy.

Additionally other companies who formerly went down the H-1B path are planning to hire these highly skilled people but just in other locations in Asia, Canada, UK and Europe. Again it is the US economic recovery and competitiveness in the world that is hurt by these actions due to the short-sighted immigration policy in this country.

To all those who say it is easier to hire a foreigner than an American and companies hire foreigners because it is is cheaper and have obviously never researched how much it costs to hire a foreigner on an H-1b visa.

It costs upwards of $3,000 for the right to hire a foreigner and then probably thousands of dollars in legal fees on top of that. Additionally they can only start work on October 1 even if they are lucky to get a H-1B visa so a US company will always look at a US worker first as it is just easier, more practical and less costly.

Did you know that 25% of the annual H-1B visas come from the US Consualte in Chennai, India?

So as far as FY2010 goes and the upcoming deadline on Wednesday April 1, demand is expected to be slighlty less than the previous 2 years but don’t be fooled into thinking if you just apply, you will get it this year. Smart companies defy media propganda and still are going to hire the best talent and all 65,000 visas and 20,000 Masters level visas will be exhausted in the first few days. It is just this year there will be a different set of companies hiring foreigners.

Please ensure your companies have everything organized and file in you application on time on April 1 so you have the best chance to get your US visa.

Good Luck!

CJ

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