H-1B Cap Reached, USCIS No Longer Accepting Petitions

U.S. Visa ThumbnailEmployers racing to file their H-1B visa petitions can stop. On Friday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached its limit on H-1B petitions that are subject to the cap, the USCIS announced.

In just five days, the USCIS says it received more than enough petitions to fulfill the statutory cap of 65,000 H-1B petitions and 20,000 H-1B advanced degree exemption petitions since employers were allowed to file the paperwork on April 1.

According to the USCIS, it received a total of 124,000 H-1B petitions that are subject to the cap. Last year, the cap was reached in 10 weeks and the year before that it took roughly three times longer in the face of a sluggish economy, The Brookings Institution noted in a report. And while the cap was reached in lightning speed this year, the fastest in five years, it still doesn’t compare with the one-day record in 2008.

Now that the cap has been reached, the USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process, otherwise known as the “lottery,” to chose from all the submitted H-1B petitions to find the final 65,000 statutory cap H-1B petitions and the 20,000 advanced degree petitions. A lottery date hasn’t yet been selected, because of an overwhelming number of petitions.

These fiscal 2014 H-1B petitions will then go on to the State Department, which has the final say on issuing the visas. Last year, the State Department approved a total of 135,530 H-1B visas, which includes both the combined cap of 85,000 statutory and advanced degree H-1B visas and the uncapped H-1B visas issued to non-profit and government research centers. The USCIS is continuing to accept H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

So, in other words, stay tuned to see how many H-1B visas will ultimately be issued for 2013.

Comments

  1. BY RobS says:

    Interesting note:
    I used to work with a bunch of Brits who were here on Student Visa, which lets them come here to work while they are students, but they have to return after 1 year.
    In the 3 years I was there about 20% chose not to go home afterwards (since they had built a life here.) There were no repercussions for them staying other than that if they left the country they could not get back in.
    I wonder if the H1B visa program is similar.
    Another thought (since I don’t know the rules very well): is the 65K per year cumulative (i.e. every year there can be 65K NEW people) or is it fixed (a total of 65K in the US, which is unlikely). Also, do the Visas expire? (I know that these people cannot switch jobs unless the new company chooses to sponsor them.)
    So if it’s 65K per year then in about 8 years that’s over 1/2 million new immigrants that could be here competing for jobs (although, of course, the claim is that they do not take jobs that Americas can/will do, but most of us know that there are many cases that disprove that.)

    • BY Elena says:

      ROBS, H1B visa expires in 3 years which means that after 3 years a foreign worker should get a renewal or switch to GC in order to be visa-free. If he/she cannot get renewal of H1B (the employer is not willing or cannot sponsor visa anymore or the person cannot find another employer who wants to sponsor him), he has to go back to his native country no matter how long he previously stayed in US. Most of the companies who offer sponsorship, also offer GC sponsorship after 6-24 months of employement in order to protect their employees of possible renewal problems like the lottery this year.

    • BY Vinod Tiwari says:

      Yes USCIS issues 65K H1-B VISA every year and one H1-B VISA is valid for 3 years only plus one extension for another 3 years.so an employee can stay only 6 years on his or her H1-B.Once this period is over then he or she has to leave the country and cannot file immediately a new visa.Person has to wait for one year then again visa can be filed.If employer is ready to sponsor his or her green card and during stay in US on H1 , then employee can stay till the time he get his green card…

      • BY George says:

        If I’m not mistaken usually with such a visa and proof of paid taxes during these years the individual automatically become eligible to apply green card and consequently path to citizenship, since he/she got a position where most of us is just a dream.

    • BY Not on H1 says:

      65 K quota is per year meaning new 65K migrants can potentially get the visa. Some congressmen are proposing a bill to raise that limit to 300K, which would mean $3 million migrants in 10 years competing for our jobs. In other words, if we are able to find a job under such conditions they will be paying pennies.

    • BY boyd says:

      I’ve worked with brits for years in the US. They have no problems staying here.

  2. BY Fred Bosick says:

    Only 5 days, in this economy?

    If it wasn’t obvious before what’s it’s all about, it should be now.

  3. BY Frank says:

    Can anybody tell me the distribution by countries and by specialties?

  4. BY Mario says:

    From my personal experience in technology industries these are not lawyers, they are overwhelmingly engineering graduates and are from Asian which produces about half a million graduates a year, many of whom would be finding difficulty getting work at home and if they did would not have the kind of lifestyle they can have in the US. This program is one of the reasons why US born students are a minority in the STEM majors of US universities. There is reduced motivation to go into these fields when employers can get very sharp and motivated people who will start out for less money.

    • BY Bluemountain184 says:

      You are absolutely correct.
      The school I used to attend is like that.

    • BY James says:

      And let’s not forget that many of these Asian and Indian students go to public (not private) universities in their native countries, particularly China and India, so if the so-called private education system in the US is so much more superior how is it even they can’t compete with publicly educated foreign students?

      • BY Paul says:

        They can compete – quite well in fact. The issue is that H-1Bs drive down wages to where it makes little sense for Americans to pursue it. Why spend years or decades getting an education and experience so you can make half what these jobs used to make?

        The issue is why are we providing what amounts to taxpayer-subsidized scab labor? When Americans make less, can’t find jobs and/or need to rely on social safety nets because of trends like this we ALL PAY FOR IT.

    • BY boyd says:

      And… And these American kids are smart enough to ask themselves where will I be 10-20 years from now in IT.

      1. If you are not into money then you can be a developer for 30 years making 70k. Then get your degree. But if you want more then what? You’ll be competing against millions of H1-B’s asking for much less money, do you want to battle that at 55 years of age?

  5. BY sj says:

    The lottery has been done already and people have got receipt numbers if they were selected.

  6. BY Rick says:

    Like I have said before, the U.S. is too focused on the “back door” of immigration instead of the “front door”. Those coming in via H1-B visas (front door) are taking high paying jobs from American Citizens. I know, I have been there on the losing end. Stop this now.

    • BY KG says:

      You are right, what about training your military vets up or training your own people (U.S. Citizens) for the jobs. I’m in the IT field and 3/4 of the companies I have worked don’t want to spend money on training their staff on new technologies. Also companies are so cheap they only want contractors, they will have you work years as a contractor if they could.

      • BY EKG says:

        I totally agree with you. My old company hired me as a contractor after they laid me off so they won’t have to pay for benefits and additional training. All the other jobs go to cheaper newly grads of off shore.

    • BY Tri says:

      Rick, you are not right. H1b people are not taking high paying jobs of US citizen. They are taking the jobs that American citizen cannot do or not willing to do. In order to get h1b visa, the attorney must prove that there is no local candidate can handle the job or not willing to do it. Also, H1b visa are the source of grey matter all over the world flowing to the US – which makes it #1 nation in the world.. about your concern on the immigrants I believe that, if you are not, then your father, grandfather, or ancestor must be an immigrant anyway lol

      • BY Russ says:

        “Rick, you are not right. H1b people are not taking high paying jobs of US citizen. They are taking the jobs that American citizen cannot do or not willing to do. In order to get h1b visa, the attorney must prove that there is no local candidate can handle the job or not willing to do it. ”
        Apologies, but you have no idea what you are talking about.
        I work in IT. I have worked in Silicon Valley, for Biotech in the SF peninsula and for some of the banks that were part of the “Stress Test” in 2009.
        These H1b visa jobs are jobs that Americans would be willing to take. They are jobs that, at market rate, pay a reasonable middle class income.
        There ARE qualified US citizens that want these jobs.
        The companies doing the hiring are willing to lie and obfuscate to get H1b visas workers because they benefit from the fact that they can dump these employees at will, that they will not expect benefits. Basically it gives them a pool of skilled labor that circumvents labor law. Which is a crime because already most labor laws do not apply to IT!

        I have personally interviewed with a company that was purposefully interviewing underqualified people to “prove” they could not find American candidates.

        And don’t mix me up with some xenophobic racist. I am a Creole, my sister is married to a Chinese-American and my gf is Polynesian.

        • BY Paul says:

          Agreed. Numbers I saw indicated we have 15,000,000 STEM degree holders in the USA (citizens) and only 5,000,000 STEM-related jobs. Which means we have 3 times the number of workers we need already. There is no shortage.

      • BY Paul says:

        H-1B is about a cheap labor pool to drive down the wages for native US IT workers, and that’s all it’s about. H-1Bs are just pawns in the game.

        Here’s a video showing a legal seminar being given to US corporations on how to meet the letter of the law (of looking for a qualified and interested US applicant) but instructing them on how to do it so as NOT to find a qualified and interested US applicant. IOW they are seeking to appear to be looking without really looking. Why? Not because they want the superior skillset of Indians (which doesn’t exist or is exceedingly rare) but rather because they want a cheap indentured servant who’s stuck with them for years and they can overwork and underpay.

      • BY George says:

        Then what jobs we are talking about here that American won’t do?

        • BY RobS says:

          George, Apparently we won’t do jobs that pay significantly below cost of living…I really wish I knew what was wrong with us that we’d ever want a salary that pays the bills…

  7. BY jake says:

    Is it any wonder why an IT guy can’t get work? H-1b scabs. We need to shut the H1-b valve off, till all Americans are employed. STOP H-1b NOW!

    • BY ken says:

      @jake…Dude…that is no excuse to not get a job!! if you know what you are doing, you WILL get a job. Except you are lazy and not ready to compete…These “foreigners” overcome all odds and work their butts off to get those jobs. Better go and update your self and stop blaming someone else for your inability to get a job

      • BY Russ says:

        “Those foreigners” are being exploited. They hold their hope to get a chance at the American dram over their heads (the carrot) and threaten to cancel their sponsorship if they do not work 20 hours a week off the clock. (stick).
        I have sympathy for them because they didnt create this mess.
        OTOH I worked my ASS off getting into IT. I got up at 4am to be on time for a job 50 miles away. When I did not have a car I rode my bike, sometimes for 20 miles, to get to the client site.
        I studied every day I did not work.
        The problem isn’t Americans willingness to work hard. It is the upper management that sees IT as someplace you just spend money that doesnt contribute to the bottom line. They think they can keep cutting back and outsourcing. But eventually they will realize that is the reason the computers they use all suck!

      • BY Joe says:

        Hey Ken “dude”. When you’re let go and can only get 6 month contracting gigs don’t come crying to me. I don’t know either you or Jake but show some compassion.

        • BY KG says:

          That’s exactly what I’m saying, there are jobs for 6/12 months to let you come in set up infrastructure or run a project. No days off, no benefits, nothing. I’m ex-military and still have to do the contract route because that’s all that’s available. I have a degree, I have certification’s and still doesn’t matter. I am currently contract working at a MAJOR hardware vendor and all I see are H1B’s all over campus that are FTE’s. Just complete BS! All of you on here that are PRO H1B’s calling U.S. worker’s are lazy have lost your minds. U.S.workers are not getting a fair shot period! Why should you come here and get a better job/training than me? And it’s not because you smarter. It’s because the system is messed up. Enjoy it now because the U.S. is going to wake up at some point.

          • BY Paul says:

            It’s because they work for 50%-75% of what a comparable American would receive and are essentially stuck with their sponsoring employer for 6 years. Meanwhile they work them 60 hours a week. No mystery why employers would want to do that; the mystery is why we allow it to go on.

    • BY Greg Clapton says:

      Write your congressman.

      • BY Bob says:

        I did. You know what the response was? “Many organizations continue to tell us how difficult it is to find qualified labor in the United States, thus the need to continue the various Visa programs.”

        Who’s lining their pockets, the average-joe worker or the corporations who want to hire cheaper help?

    • BY Terry says:

      Jake, You are correct. We have an unemployment rate of nearly 8%, while these companies are chomping at the bit to hire people from other countries. Maybe there should be 2 tax rates, one for those who hire US citizens and a significantly higher tax rate for companies hiring foreign workers.

    • BY Sango says:

      While at it why don’t you have ‘em legislate against globalization…

      • BY James says:

        There’s nothing wrong with globalization since that’s been going on since the expansion of Western Europe and culture. What’s not working for the US Economy is the flippant practice of undercutting the US labor market at the expense of the US worker. It has nothing to do with US worker skill sets rather the convenience of finding cheaper work the employer doesn’t have to invest in for the long term.

        It’s this short-term thinking that has translated into a long-term problem.

        • BY boyd says:

          What is this globalization term? America has been importing , exporting before we were a country. Just a term conjured up by corporations to lower our salaries.

    • BY Tri says:

      After shutting down H1b the US economy & technologies will go down and be left behind by China, Mexico, or even North Korea. H1 people are here to grow the US high tech industries, not to compete with those lazy ass American citizens. If you think you can handle the jobs that H1 can do, then there will be a lot of jobs available for you prior to an H1 candidate. Please don’t blame on H1 for your unemployment..

    • BY George says:

      You are absolutely correct.

  8. BY joe c says:

    While we have people with no jobs that are more qulified then people coming. They do this for one reason, that is to lower wages. The tech field is not a field to go into. This is a field that changes every two years and uses people until Their skill set becomes obsolete, then say next. If we would cut off H-b1s maybe they would have to train and Treat people with respect. I know kids coming out of school with straight A’s And certifications, and can not find work.

  9. BY Russd says:

    The H1B Visa program is simply a way for Tech companies to get staffing needs filled below market rate. I once interviewed for a job where I was told (off the record) that it was really just a formality for the H1b process to prove they COULDN’T find anyone to fill the position! I was wondering why I had been called for a job I obviously wasn’t qualified for!
    OTOH I did get training in IT from the money that the H1b program collects. My old job was outsourced and the union arranged to retrain us into IT ( a field which is largely not union, so put that in your anti-union pipe and smoke it!). H1b kicked in most of the costs. The union made up the difference an helped with testing and such. Though I did have to test twice for certification. Once for the union and H1b people, second time for reals.

    Once I started working in IT I met plenty of H1b visas. They were underpaid, over worked and mostly miserable. Do you think a coder making $40k a year and living in silicon valley is happy? He can’t send any money home after he pays rent and bills. And he will not be able to progress in teh company he works at, nor transfer. The H1b visa program only allows them to work for the company that sponsors them. So managers will use their visa status to blackmail them in to more work.
    They need to end this program because Americans need the work. They need to end it because it is full of abuses.

  10. BY John Rooney says:

    The H1B is an in-sourcing lie. Companies do not want to spend the money on retraining existing IT employees who have kept them going while rapidly changing technologies made them all obsolete.
    Anyone with IT experience knows this. I have observed this as an IT consultant especially on several occasions. One of them involved working on a legacy to SAP large conversion project. I ran into several H1B consultants from India who were being paid about $8-10K while billing the client company $160+ hourly. Others in the business know this and also know there is nothing that can be done about it.
    The pace of changing technologies is so rapid that when you learn Shoebox version 1, there are no jobs left in it because it has been obsoleted by Asswipe 1.
    The US better realize that it has become a third world country as scenarios such as the above are now common. Also the elimination of many of these jobs domestically means greatly reduced tax revenue as the government scrambles to pay off its killer deficits. Our senators and reps are too busy to do any actual work because they’re constantly posturing for clips on the evening news. Lots of luck to the younger workers as they struggle to put food on the table and insure their future marketability. I am one of the ’47%’ now having lost my ass in home value and the stock market and am unemployable due to age.

    • BY boyd says:

      that happened top me 7 years ago, got laid off and found myself in retraining mode because I only knew the legacy software we used not anything new.

  11. BY Paulo says:

    The H1B cap is only for new visas, which last for 3 years and are renewable (once) for another 3 years. The overall accumulative effect of the visas is much harder to gauge because not all of these workers stay on in the USA indefinitely. Others, leave at or before their time’s up for varying reasons.
    Most important though is the perception that H1B employees cost their employers less than employing american citizens. I have yet to see a single documented case that proves this claim, let alone proof on a statistical whole scale level.
    Most people don’t realize the extra costs that companies face when relocating people from overseas to live and work in the USA. Nor do they know the type of control that the Labor Department exerts on these job openings, especially when it comes to wages. Of course, there are companies out there that do a pretty good job of playing the system, forcing the foreign employees to cover these costs and otherwise ripping off people the best they can.
    But, big companies like Amazon and Microsoft (for example), usually spend anywhere between 30K to 60K to get a visa worker in the door for her/his first day of work. After that, wages and benefits are the same. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
    Stopping H1B would be much worse than the average Joe can fathom. The jobs that are still in the USA would simply go overseas after the needed talent taking with them the money that otherwise stays in the USA and helps feed this economy. And that’s just the immediate impact. On the long run, as other countries gained on the USA in terms of intellectual properties and rights, plus new technologies and markets, then the blue collar jobs might start coming back home because American labor would become evermore lower tech, a.k.a. cheaper and cheaper. Get the drift?
    As for the competition on the job market, don’t forget that that the USA invented both capitalism and globalization. In other words: adapt, learn to live with it…

    • BY za says:

      > Most important though is the perception that H1B employees cost their
      > employers less than employing american citizens. I have yet to see
      > a single documented case that proves this claim, let alone proof on a
      > statistical whole scale level.

      While, I generally support accountability for arguments and I have not researched anything exhaustively myself (this is the internet after all, LOL), it has always been my personal suspicion that H1B’s drive salaries down… because basic economics dictates that anything that increases “supply” in a market will drive down the price of the thing that is being supplied, in this case, labor. This is a fairly well established rule, AFAIK, and as such does not really need to be “proven”.

      In the current US tech labor market this adds insult to injury, in my opinion because the current market is ALREADY over-supplied with domestic candidates.

      • BY Paulo says:

        Za,
        if your intent is to establish an argument by inference, besides the general rule of supply and demand, I also suggest you take a look at the company’s job openings listings. Look up the sites for Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and others. Just for the heck of it, “make up” your resume to match exactly what they are looking for and apply. And then you tell me how long it takes to be contacted for an interview. I am not suggesting that you lie, I am suggesting that you test the system. Now, if you go ahead with the interview and don’t get the job, you can’t actually blame the foreigners, can you? And by way of depressed wages, don’t forget that the next batch of H1Bs will only arrive in October, so you have almost 6 months to make a killing….

    • BY KG says:

      Who cares if these U.S. companies move the jobs overseas, then U.S.consumers might wise up and stop buying from those companies that don’t want to hire/train U.S. citizens

      • BY Paulo says:

        KG,
        I agree with you that consumer pressure is the most effective pressure there is. When was the last time you willingly bought a higher priced merchandised produced in the USA versus a foreign made product just to protect American jobs? It’s all your hands…

      • BY James says:

        There is still a disconnect between US consumers realizing what they’re buying habits are generating and how US industries are responding to those buying habits. Lowering retail prices is not something US consumers are willing to give up.

        I might also point out that we are beyond the threshold of moving the clock back so that US firms can ramp up and compete with foreign manufacturers, which BTW are partially owned and invested in by US capital.

        • BY Dan Sungail says:

          My Milwaukee power drill was blown off some scaffolding and broken beyond repair. It was a great drill, American made and competitively priced. I tried to buy a replacement and found a Chinese company now owns the band and makes the drills. They are not the same.

          There are no American made electric power drills available at any price.

          By the way, I do purchase American products at a higher price. However, I look for entry level commercial grade American products as opposed to consumer grade imports. The added cost is worth it.

      • BY RB says:

        Consumer items – 90% of them are either made in China, India, El Salvadore, Bangladesh, Vietnam. Go to Macy’s, Kohl’s or any other store of your liking. Starting from shoe laces to overcoats, I never found one made in the USA, though I did try. The only non-consumer item that I remember made in the US were sewerage covers. Even the American Flags available in stores are made in China.
        That is the situation. It is difficult to buy stuff made in the USA – there are too many to choose from.

    • BY Jeremy says:

      You bring the point that “But, big companies like Amazon and Microsoft (for example), usually spend anywhere between 30K to 60K to get a visa worker in the door for her/his first day of work. After that, wages and benefits are the same. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

      Apparently you don’t – you heard of Tax Write-Offs? That cost is off-set by the American Tax Payer- LOL

      • BY Paulo says:

        Jeremy,
        there is no such thing as a free lunch. The tax write off that you mentioned is treated in the exact same way as other employee-related expenses, wages, benefits, etc. Why would a company prefer to spend 60K extra on one employee when it could be using that same money to hire an extra employee? What tax write off in the world would make it more interesting to get 1 for the price of 2? Of course, it is possible that you know something that I don’t. So, if that’s the case, please enlighten us all.

        • BY Jeremy says:

          Enlighten I will – You heard of a “small” company called GE? You know they make pretty much everything you can think of, ring any Bells? In 2010 GE earned $14.2 billion in profits, but it paid not a single dime in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit. GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007 and 2009. More than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the United States. Who do you think subsidized the $3.2 billion tax benefit? You’re right there’s nothing like a free lunch only when the big guy decides to take YOUR lunch.

          Don’t be naive this H1-B deal that’s being proposed under the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is a raw deal for U.S workers and rouse by Compete America (An alliance representing some of the largest tech & manufacturing giants) to lower operating costs (Human Capital 101) and increase the company’s bottom line just like American Airlines & others moved maintenance operations overseas to cut costs that led to thousands of jobs lost here in the U.S.

          Just like Wall Street lobbied to deregulate the banks and prior to that tax loop holes that allowed for lost manufacturing jobs to be shipped overseas this is a bad idea for a nation with %7.8 – %7.6 unemployment. It’s called the “law of unintended consequences” Feel enlightened?

    • BY Paul says:

      Haven’t seen evidence that H-1B are paid less? Then you haven’t looked – the evidence is everywhere. For example:

      http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b.html

      “The underpayment of H-1Bs is well-established fact, not rumor, anecdote or ideology. It has been confirmed by two congressionally-commissioned reports, and a number of academic studies, in both statistical and qualitative analyses.

      Even former software industry entrepreneur CEO Vivek Wadhwa, now a defender of foreign worker programs who is quoted often in the press and who has testified to Congress in favor of expansion of the programs, has confessed,

      ‘I know from my experience as a tech CEO that H-1Bs are cheaper than domestic hires.’

      Technically, these workers are supposed to be paid a “prevailing wage,” but this mechanism is riddled with loopholes.

      Wadhwa has also stated

      ‘I was one of the first [CEOs] to use H-1B visas to bring workers to the U.S.A. Why did I do that? Because it was cheaper.’”

  12. BY Vicotor says:

    I know many companies file H1B overseas bring them here and put them to work in gas station all across the US. System is completly broken.

    • BY Paulo says:

      Vicotor,
      if you really know such a case, please go ahead and report this to the authorities. Do us all a favor.

  13. BY Not on H1 says:

    Ironically there are people getting jobs in IT, and these are people without any formal education, degrees, or knowledge of IT. Some of them work in hospitality, while other are pizza delivery guys. So how are they getting these high paying 6 figure salary jobs in the market? They are being recruited by Indian body shoppers, trained on various techs(build and release for software seems to be the popular choice since you can get decent rates with it), faking their resumes, and having their interviews proxied by someone else. They also usually have one of their own guys inside to back them up. This industry is becoming corrupt at an exponential rate. These slave traders(body shoppers) are becoming millionaires in short span of time. It’s almost impossible to come across a requirement without coming some Indian intermediary company. I’m not sure what the future of the country is but the future of IT in US going down the drain without any signs any positive change on the horizon.

  14. The controversial H-1B Visa program was created by economic elites to enrich the elites at the expense of the American middle class. The H-1B Visa program allows the elites to slash their salary and benefit expenditures by at least $150K per visa admission. The elites substitute a young immigrant who works under conditions akin to indentured servitude for an experienced American citizen technical professional. Often, the American must train their imported replacement as a condition of receiving their meager outplacement benefit – and the American is also forced to sign a nondisclosure document that forbids them from telling their story to the media. No wonder the elites are pushing to lift the H-1B Visa cap in the “Gang of 8″ U.S. Senate immigration bill that is still under wraps. To learn more, search by title for the PDF version of the 2012 report, “How Record Immigration Levels Robbed American High-Tech Workers of $10 Trillion.”

  15. BY Rgm says:

    The foreign worker program in all of its forms has been and will continue to be abused by private and public sectors as long as the practice yields economic benefits…which were carefully constructed by corporate lobbyists and the abundant supply of government officials on the take….

    If you want overwhelming proof of this just go to any large corporate or commercial technology installation (i.e. Microsoft, IBM) at 9am, lunchtime, or 5pm and the obvious imbalance will be on display. How this passes muster with discrimination laws is beyond comprehension! It is obvious to the ethnic group that takes advantage of this windfall of being allowed into a host country to basically take the jobs and in most cases long careers of American Citizens (victims) is disgusting.

    We all should be ashamed of what our politicians are allowing to happen to our country!! It is immoral and criminal.

  16. BY Rae says:

    Lots of the folks on this comment pages don’t know what they are talking about.

    I have been taking classes and finishing a degree at a Top 10 Engineering University, and it is a *fact* that there aren’t a lot of citizen even in the pipelines. I have a few American lab partners, probably more talented than the immigrants (I think they pair up knowledge with amazing communication skills), but those students are few, and guess what? They get job offers raining. I personally I’m ignoring offers from major software companies (because of personal preference).

    So stop blaming the employers for once. They are at fault when it’s comes to using cheap labor. But as it relates to the STEM world, the issue is not the employers, it is due to us not sending enough American students to study and be *competitive* for those jobs. (Competitive = smart and getting the job done).

    • BY Rgm says:

      Sounds like you are a foreign student…

      Please tell us the source of your ‘fact’.

    • BY za says:

      > They get job offers raining. I personally I’m ignoring offers from major software companies (because of personal preference).

      LOL. Come back in ten years after you have been laid off and are no longer a cheap new grad and you don’t think you already know everything.

      As someone with over two decades of experience who has recently had to find a new job, you will see many employers strongly favoring new grads (regardless of H1B status) except for very specific roles because the new grads are so much cheaper. Job descriptions for experienced EE openings are ridiculously specific and lengthy with regard to hard requirements (i.e. “musts”), too, because it is an employer’s market and is likely to stay that way.

      If the economy softens even further, you will see, even for new grads, stratification of opportunity based on cost.

    • BY Dr Gene Nelson says:

      Elites working for the National Science Foundation in the late 1980s recognized that a flood of low-cost foreign labor would serve to drive Americans out of technology fields because the salary scales would be savaged by the tidal wave of imported economic migrants. To learn more, search by title at the NBER dot org website for Dr. Eric Weinstein’s paper, “How and Why Government, Universities, and Industry Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers.” Go to Section 5, “The NSF’s Real Shortage Study.”

      BTW, I work as an engineering professor at a number-one-ranked American university, I see many American citizens doing an excellent job in their coursework. However, they report that the real challenge is to find an available opening that makes use of their training.

    • BY Paul says:

      Nonsense – while enrollments in STEM related degrees have been falling in recent years it’s precisely *because* of offshoring and inshoring (H-1B, L-1) of labor in that field.

      Fact is the USA already has 15,000,000 STEM graduate citizens living and working inside our country with only 5,000,000 STEM-related jobs. We already have three times as many as we need, so spare me the argument that we don’t have enough in the pipeline; what we (apparently) don’t have is enough cheap, fresh-out-of-school, indentured servants.

  17. BY Boss Hogg says:

    Yes, I do not agree with this program but all it’s telling you is there is a high demand for IT jobs that need to be filled. There is not enough trained American workers to fill these positions. We need an awareness program to educated people about these emerging technologies so they can get trained. The company I work for has a hard time finding anyone who has experience or trained in specialized sectors of IT. Other countries have this awareness and they go after it and get trained.

    • BY KG says:

      Tell your company to stop looking and hire & train in the specialized IT fields – grow your own talent.

    • BY Russ says:

      “There is not enough trained American workers to fill these positions.”
      That is the problem. There ARE plenty of American IT workers. I know quite a few myself. The problem is that upper management does not want to pay the salary and benefits that IT workers expect. And frankly are entitled to.

      • BY joe c says:

        They are lowering wages, and making big Bonuses doing so. So many people with better skillets sit ideal as our country spirals down. I do not blame immigrants, I blame the bought and paid for Republican Party and a few demarcates for demanding this. They will not be happy until we are all slaves, like china.

      • BY boyd says:

        The job requirements are ridiculous. I have a buddy who a few years ago was an associate professor at U of Texas, he taught Java and he told me a lot of these J2EE jobs he’s not qualified for. I don’t bother applying for most of these jobs with 10-15 skill requirements.

        I find that most know only 1-2 skills with any proficiency. These jobs asking for advanced skills in C++,Java I don’t know anyone an expert in both. Most contract jobs I do take I don’t do 95% of what they asked for in the job desc.

        The other thing is the jobs are worded as if they’re looking for someone who has matching experience as the guy who left. So why would someone want to do the same stuff he’s currently doing , at the same pay scale, to replace a guy who was unhappy doing the same stuff. Most likely the new guy will become unhappy too.

        Back when I started in the early 80′s Employers were more interested in your logical skill sets, intelligence and enthusiasm. Today it’s what’s this?, What’s that? Like I’m going to have total instant recall on 25 years of experience.

    • BY boyd says:

      They’re looking for people who are cheap and have many years of experience. I have 25 years, I would be very unhappy taking a position making 70k-80k. So far my experience in IT is Stay where you are if full-time, do not contract for under $150/hr, and stay leading edge in case you become laid off. For a younger person consider if you want to compete salary wise with 20 somethings when your 50+.

  18. BY Keith says:

    If American techs and engineers want to protect their jobs some level of collectivism will be the only way. Not a trade union though. I was thinking a trade guild. People with technological know-how have been doing this since cities started to form. In those days it was smiths, merchants and other people with uncommon knowledge.

    Why shouldn’t it be Network Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Programmers in a guild? Heck anyone in technology professions. Work together to improve our skills, set high quality standards and force the politicians and corporations to cut off H1Bs they don’t need.

    When you look at it technology people working together have the brains to figure out just about anything if they have the will to do it.

    • BY Jeremy says:

      I believe you got something there Keith. What everyone in this forum needs to realize is there’s a bigger issue. History has shown that the fight of David Vs. Goliath is never ending that’s why the manufacturing jobs that shipped overseas will not be returning anytime soon. Just like during the Clinton years, Wall Street lobbied heavily to deregulate the banks and where did that lead us or have we already forgotten?

      So here we have lobbying giant Compete America (An alliance representing some of the largest tech & manufacturing giants) pushing congress to increase the H1-B quota (check out Steve Case, co-founder and former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online, testify in front of a congressional committee on comprehensive immigration reform @ Compete America dot org).

      If you for one second you believe there’re not enough “Skilled Workers” to fill these high tech /skilled labor jobs then put down the KoolAid and let’s hypothetically say you do, why don’t these companies invest in High Schools, Technical Colleges & 4yr Colleges for these in demand STEM degrees – The military does it and it’s called ROTC. Essentially this is a rouse to lower operating cost (Human Capital 101) and increase the company’s bottom line just like American Airlines & others moved maintenance operations overseas to cut costs that led to thousands of jobs lost here in the U.S.

      According to the Center for Responsive Politics the computer and Internet industries gave $62 million to Democratic and Republican federal candidates and political committees during the 2012 election cycle. Last year, tech companies spent a record $132.5 million on lobbying in Washington, according to the center, placing them among the top lobbying sectors in the Capitol. Over the past decade, the industry has spent well over $1 billion on lobbying, making it the fourth-highest industry spender, according to the center.

      Since Congress and these Corporations sleep together and eat from the same trough, there is a chance this piece of legislation may pass with bipartisan support as part of the larger “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”. I have seen this issue carry on the Washington Post, NY Time, ABC News, The Daily Caller, it’s even happening in Canada (Check out CTVNews dot CA and search Backlash over RBC case puts foreign-workers program in the spotlight). So quit yacking at each other or taking the stance it only happens to them & not us attitude and take personal steps to enlighten yourself on the facts and make your voice heard and watch carefully what’s being proposed in this “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” no matter what side of the isle you’re coming from – Cheers!

  19. BY boyd says:

    I strongly believe this is to lower salaries. In the long term , this will also discourage many young Americans from spending $100,000 to acquire an degree in Engineering /IT, when someone from India/China or elsewhere spends 3-4k for a degree then comes here on some work Visa. That’s not fair and these Lawyer Politicians do not care about fairness. And they wonder why kids are reluctant to pay for college. One of my sons lived overseas, he considered obtaining a master’s degree at a Chinese University for 3k including room and board , all classes taught in English instead of a 1 year master’s degree program in the USA at 45k.
    .

  20. BY boyd says:

    The best way to kill this program is forcing these companies to pay 3x more than what they want for this talent. Let’s find out just how bad they need them. LOL!

  21. BY iOS Dev says:

    We as engineers for what ever are one of the least united communities out there. Perhaps the reason why we get taken for a ride by idiotic politicians. I do realize there is a competitive spirit within us that some times can be barrier for uniting but what we are facing now is bigger than any single one of us. I’m not promoting a union based paradigm, but a close knit community that comes to solve larger scale problems effecting our industry. We are some of most intellectual citizens of the society and I’m sure can come up with creative ways of tackling any issues. Perhaps we can set up a portal or a blog or a meetup group for united engineers. Let me know what you guys think.

    • BY RobS says:

      Isn’t this how Apple and Microsoft got started? Collaborative programming?
      The biggest problem I see is trying to pull together all of the talent and getting businesses to recognize it. It almost sounds like a recruiting agency, and many are useless because they don’t verify your talent level before they promote you so they have no credibility with businesses. Getting the respect of this would be a challenge (I tried it years ago and couldn’t get up off the ground because all of the talent wanted me to do all the work to get going and I didn’t have time, which is why I tried organizing this collection of great talent.)

  22. BY Unemployed SWE says:

    Paulo,
    You are obviously biased for some reason.
    I suspect it’s the because you’re currently employed…correct ?
    How could you possibly be in favor of this program that is putting millions of superior, American workers on unemployment at an ever increasing rate? I have been a very successful software development engineer for over 15 years, and now find myself out of work (for over 8 mos, now!), and am unable to get a job and support my family, even though I average 2 interviews per week. Who do you suspect might be getting those jobs, Paulo? Do yo have a job? If so, then your comments are biased, lacking in any kind of compassion, and completely irrelevant.

    • BY Paulo says:

      Unemployed SWE,
      not knowing details about your current predicament obviously precludes me from commenting on your plight. But, I do know what you are going through, I’ve been there more than once. If I can be of help to you in any way, please let me know. This discussion was supposed to be about the merits of the H1B visa as it benefits (or not) the US economy as a whole. As long as people start injecting their own personal bias and (especially) feelings, the whole discussion becomes irrelevant. With all due respect, the expression you used, “superior Americans”, is loaded with bias, no matter which way you look at it. Again, I respect your feelings in the matter, but lashing out at all the “inferior foreigners” who are right now taking up the roles that you could be fulfilling isn’t helping your job search. Maybe these jobs don’t really demand such a highly skilled individual after all… Please take no offense I what I just wrote, I’ve been in this industry long enough to survive several cycles and fads and I know that technology moves “sideways” so fast that none of us are safe. I have seen software development be transformed from a beautiful and artsy science into a battle field littered with corpses. Companies are right now searching for the “next” corpses; the H1B visa phenomenon is but one indicative of how fast software developers are being strewed out there. It is not the only sign. People who focus (narrowly IMHO) on the visa issue are missing the bigger picture, and certainly won’t find the solution by doing so.
      Some of the responses that I have seen in this discussion are putting forth some numbers that are wildly off mark, so much so that I have gone out of my way to check them out. This is still work in progress, and I am going through this mini research much more for my own benefit than to counter-argument anybody online.
      I am also a software developer engineer, with 28 years of a successful career already under my belt. I should be much more worried than the average guy in this discussion, about issues such as age discrimination (for example). And, I have recently been fired from a job; got back on track 3 days later.
      But I have come to realize that in my kids’ day and age, their generation so to speak, the only difference between living in the USA and many other countries will be language and culture alone, all other variables, jobs and wages included, will converge. The field is being leveled out, and the standards will not be those that make “superior Americans” comfortable today.
      You wouldn’t (probably) know this, but american and European executives are right now invading developing country’s job markets and making a killing in the process. In Brazil for example, where a lot of people, even in the higher circles don’t speak English, being replaced by an English-speaking non native professional is a fact, happening quite often. Their attitude? -”Enroll in English classes, and get that job back”.
      Whew, that was long rant, sorry about that. To sum it up: our world is changing so fast that “clamming up” (in other words by shutting down the H1B program), won’t help at all.

      • BY Russd says:

        I do not know the OP of the “superior Americans” phrase, but I will give him the benefit of a doubt that he does not mean it in any racial or ethnic kind of way. After all Americans are every race (and combinations of races).
        I do think Americans are being replaced by lower skilled workers in many industries. Jumping sideways, look at electric guitar manufacture. The major companies like Fender have all gone over to having instruments made overseas. Largely by Cort. The quality has diminished quite a bit. Over the American made products. They have attempted to make up the difference by tightening QA, but that only catches the most egregious examples.
        Shifting back to IT, at the company I work for our corporate help desk number is based in India. I am sure there are competent IT pros in India, none of them work for this helpdesk!
        I tell every user NOT to call the helpdesk unless there is no other solution. They are terrible! They more often than not create more problems than they solve. And when I have to interact with them I have ended up hanging up the phone in frustration.
        We can all learn to be more competitive in the face of globalization. But the alternatives are not just “clamming up” or opening our doors.
        We need to stop giving god damn tax breaks to companies that outsource (or import) jobs when the unemployment rate is so high.
        Another thing that non-US readers may not get is that our unemployment figures are not simple. When the govt says 8% unemployment, that does not count lots of people that are not working, or that are still looking for an engineering job, but have taken a part time fast food job in the meantime.

        The fact is the upper echelons of American government and business do not care that they have sold out the middle class. They are happy as long as Wall st shows positive growth, regardless of the cost to long term financial health for the country.
        As wages continue to stagnate and less and less things are actually made domestically there will eventually be a point where there no longer is a middle class with disposable income. At that point India or China will have to take up the slack.

  23. BY Fred Bosick says:

    This article only had a few comments for quite awhile, including one I wrote that was *removed*. I’m glad it has since gotten quite busy. We need to shout this from multiple “virtual rooftops”. H-1B immigration is a crime against perfectly competent technology workers! And the ones to blame are the CEOs and hiring managers of US companies, not the immigrants themselves.

  24. BY Bluemountain184 says:

    I am not surprised with the visa quotas being used up in 5 days.
    That being said, as a hardware engineer in Silicon Valley, I have not had an on-site interview for 3 months.
    Friend of mine is also in a similar position, except using my connection, I got an interview set up for him.
    I apply for hundreds of positions, but I get ignored by most companies.
    Are job postings on various job sites fake so that they can use it to obtain H1-B visas?
    Will Silicon Valley companies start hiring again because the quota for the year has ran out?
    Probably not.

    • BY Russd says:

      Yes the job listings are semi fake. As stated above, they have strategies they use to “prove” they can’t find domestic talent. What kills me is that companies USED TO pay domestic workers moving costs to get them to move from CA to TX for example. These days you are lucky to get an interview.
      I am working, but I think I better catch up on certifications in case we get merged/bought/whatevered.
      My previous employer let me go after a merger. It was rougher on my supervisor than me, he felt bad.

  25. BY Jeremy says:

    Everyone is crying foul and woe me. It’s time to take action and time is of the essence. Congress will be taking up immigration reform very soon as early as next week. The Gang of Eight ( Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), and Republicans Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.)) are looking to pass a bill by late spring or summer with significant backing from the who’s who of the tech industry including but not limited to: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Linked In co-founder Reid Hoffman, John Doerr of the venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners and angel investor Ron Conway.

    The contributors list is even flashier, including Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and other CEOs of big-name firms, such as Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, Path’s Dave Morin, Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.

    You can find the “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform” report on the NY Times or other sources (Washington Post or wherever you get your trusted information from) and get familiar with their outlined proposal. There are different proposed initiatives that are covered under the H1-B/Comprehensive Immigration Reform including but not limited to:
    • The Startup Act – Permits entrepreneurs of STEM graduates to stay and start businesses
    • The I-Squared Act – Increases the amount of available green cards and removes the per country cap for employment based visas (You can read more about this @ Brookings dot Edu) which is what most of you are worried about.
    • The Startup Visa Act – Allows foreign entrepreneurs to move to the United States as long as they have financial backing
    • The Smart Jobs Act – Slow the STEM brain drain by adding a new Non Immigrant F-4 Visa
    Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) one of the gang of 8 is hitting the 4/14 Sunday morning talk shows including @foxnewssunday @thisweekabc @meetthepress @facethenation @cnnsotu @univision & @telemundo. Some of these tech execs (including Gates & Zuckerberg) have testified before congress why they greatly support the overhaul of the H1-B Visa program.
    Now if you have any gumption and want to voice your concerns get on twitter, Facebook, email, and contact these Senators & news anchors with your questions or concerns and quit whining on some board and take some action. Next week I’ll be sending out some twitter tags that I hope you’ll pass onto others that share your concerns and make this thing go viral before this bill even gets to the House – Cheers!

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