Tag Archives: visa quota

H1B Visa Update & The Issues Ahead For US Companies

As it currently stands now into May, the USCIS has issued no further update to their April 20 H-1B Visa Update whereby about 45,000 H-1B application have been received along with 20,000 H-1B applications for the US Masters Degree additional quota.

Some are now saying given the slowness of the process that this cap could still be not filled up to the 65,000 H-1B visa quota by September for FY2010. This poses a very real danger.

In 2001, the H-1B visa quota was 195,000 and following the dot com bubble burst, that quota was not filled and a short US recession followed of course with may in the IT sector losing jobs. It was soon after that the quota was reduced to the current 65,000 H-1B visas issued annually level with the later addition of 20,000 for foreigners with US Masters Degree Holders.

At the same time of course the new H-1B visa legislation (and L-1 visa for that matter) which is essentially anti-immigrant in its language and not so subtly seeks to restrict the ability of US companies to hire foreign workers on H-1B visas and L-1 visas.

Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), said if this proposal passes in the current format then it will have a fairly disastrous impact on the IT sector.

This should give you an idea: the number of H1B visas applications filed by the top-three Indian multi-national IT companies . TCS has reportedly applied for 600 visas, a little less than half of last year’s 1,539 visas. Wipro applied for 1,000 visas this year, compared to 2,500 visas last year. The sharpest fall has been for giant Infosys. It has applied for 400-500 visas for FY09 compared to 4,500 filed last year.

You have to bear in mind this is only 85,000 work visas in total so a tiny fraction of the entire US workforce. For some giant US companies it is not even enough workers to staff just their own entire company. However when giants like this are reducing their intake and H-1B friendly employers like Microsoft are publicly stating their numbers of foreign worker applications to appease bigoted and idiot politicians you there is an issue.

The Founder, Chairman & MD, Head Hunters said “Costs in the immediate short term are going to increase. That is because companies will have to hire more locally, also finding the right kind of talent at the right time is going to be a challenge.”

Industry watchers point out that fewer H1B visas filings could also lead to the shrinking of the H1B visa cap, which at present is at 65,000….similar to what happened right after the dotcom bust when the no of visas shrunk from 195,000 to the present levels.

Over half of the Silicon Valley start-ups were pioneered by foreigners and people like Greenspan called for both a temporary worker program for low-skilled jobs and for an increase in visas for highly skilled workers.

Noting the “very large participation” of undocumented workers in both low- and high-skilled jobs, he said, “if you were to remove either of those groups, the economy would be very much in trouble” and not have any signs of the recovery it is now.

President Obama and the G-20 summit in March stated the US would not become protectionist in their economy but if this H-1B legislation would pass it would do just that as it would essentially restrict the free market and put tarrifs and barriers to hiring talent.

NASSCOM also dispelled the notion that this is not in general a temporary worker program as the average engineer on an H-1B visa spends about 2 years working in the US. Given the taxes they pay, the spending of themselves and often a family plus the skills they employ, the only universal benificiary is the US economy and her citizens.

Of course polticians like Senator Durbin and Senator Grassley would never admit to this!!

"a New Bigger H1B VISA quota likely to happen this year" – NO IT IS NOT!!

What does the above headline in quotations mean?
Why did I disagree with it straight away?

Well firstly to grab your attention but secondly to help stop the crappy untruths filling the visa space. I wrote an earlier piece about my feelings on H1Base so I won’t re-hash all that here now, suffice to say I am not a fan!

Anyway the above headline in quotation marks was the headline of an email newsletter that H1Base sent out yesterday and it annoys me how many people may believe this is true and then pay money to these people in the hope their chances will increase.

Let’s Give Them The Benefit Of The Doubt!
Let’s say everything they say is true. After all I haven’t got inside information on Barack Obama’s Administration plans not to mention the Congress. Even if a bill was to pass with their stated increase to 180,000 visas instead of the annual 65,000, then it would usually only take effect the following year. Then given the way the H1B visa works you would only start working on October 1, 2010!!

Why This Bill Probably Won’t Even Be Up For Debate Possibly Till The Next Presidential Term
As I said I have no inside information (so I am safe to assume do H1Base) but there are few major reasons why immigration changes are unlikely in this next year or two.

Firstly when the original bill was up for vote in 2007 that as they point out Obama supported (and incenditally so did McCain who was a major proponent of the bill), the US economy was on a high and the stock market reached all time highs in October 2007 following the defeat of this bill.

Now of course the economy is in a year long recession with potentially another year to go. Millions of American citizens and residents have lost jobs (along with visa holders) in 2008 and two of the biggest hit area, manufacturing and union jobs and NY finance are in the majority Democratic supporters.
Do you really think these people would be happy and support more foreign workers when they have no job themselves?
Do you think Obama is stupid enough while riding high popularity and pressing concerns like economic stimulus, 2 wars he wants to end, health care mess and other major home and foreign crisis is going to focus on immigration?

(hey even  Bill Gates’ Microsoft laid of 5,000 people yesterday for there first ever mass lay off and Bill Gates himself is one of the biggest proponets of huge increases to the quota)

Also one of the biggest reasons the Democrats supported the 2007 immigration bill was the section allowing a form of amnesty for current illegal immigrants. This is the part of the immigration reform that is probably top of their wish list so am sure if you here anything in relation to immigration in the next year or two, it will be about this more than increase visa quotas.

What Does This Mean For You?

As a foreign applicant, essentially you will have the same difficulties as a US worker trying to apply to less jobs in an economic recession. However don’t give up and head for your dreams, just don’t be taken in by false promises from organization such as this without hearing all the facts and judging for yourself.

Like I said I don’t know what will happen either but I do know that making statements like this as a prophecy is certainly misleading unless you evaluate the facts.