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H-1B Cap Reached Today; Didn't Get In? Too Bad 512

First time accepted submitter Dawn Kawamoto writes "Employers stampeding into the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to get their H-1B petitions filed before the cap is reached are getting the door slammed in their face today. The cap was hit in near record time of 5 days, compared to the 10 weeks it took last year to have more than enough petitions to fulfill the combined cap of 85,000 statutory and advanced degree H-1B petitions. While U.S. tech workers scream that they're losing out on jobs as H-1B workers are hired, employers are countering that the talent pool is lacking and they need to increase the cap. Of course, Congress is wrangling in on this one as to whether it's time to raise the bar."
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H-1B Cap Reached Today; Didn't Get In? Too Bad

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  • Re:talent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoKaOi ( 1415755 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:36PM (#43374295)

    talent pool is lacking = we don't want to pay

    So why not have a minimum salary for H1B employees? Increase with inflation every year of course.

    If an H1B is truly necessary because the talent is lacking, the presumably they'd be willing to pay. If it's because they only want to pay a foreigner $35k/yr for job with a market value of $70k/yr, then that's not what the H1B program is supposed to be about. Set the minimum at something like $80k/yr, and you'll be limiting it to folks who are really in high demand and the absolute in their field, otherwise you can hire an American.

    I mean, really, what talent is there that should pay less than $80k/yr that you really cannot find an American to hire for?

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:42PM (#43374333)

    The 10 largest users of H1B are off-shoring contract-houses. Last year, those 10 off-shoring companies claimed 40,000 of the 85,000 available H1B visas.

    The way it works is that they low-bid on some project, bring in their people on H1B get them trained up and then send them back home to work on the same project.

    Citation: Who's Hiring H-1B Visa Workers? It's Not Who You Might Think []

    All the PR about H1B says that we have a skills-shortage here, but if that is true, then H1B is contributing to the skills shortage rather than fixing it. Most of what is wrong with H1B could be fixed if the politicians actions matched their rhetoric - instead of being an unofficial dual-purpose immigration visa that typically expires just months before the immigrant clears all the paperwork for an green-card, make it a fast-track immigrant only visa - everybody on an H1B is guaranteed a green-card within just one year of residency. That way instead of being a brain-drain out of the US, we would be sucking in the (supposedly) higher-qualified foreign candidates to become permanent contributing members of US society.

  • Let eBay settle it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:44PM (#43374355) Journal
    If there's a shortage of H-1B visas (meaning there are times you can't obtain one no matter how much you're willing to pay), they should be put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder so everyone who wants one badly enough can get one. It's irresponsible of the government not to look for ways to reduce our tax burden.
  • Re:talent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:45PM (#43374371)

    (Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, and simila...

    When I see those assholes and others cry about the "lack of local talent" and see the out of work - willing and talented folks, I just shake my head and do what I have to. I have a 10 year old computer because I can't afford better. I have a 20 year old car because I can't afford better. I have student loans because I was told that if I "went up the food chain" and leave the low level jobs to overseas people the things would be better for me.

    I am sitting in a ton of student debt with no job prospects because I did what I was told was right - more education is better. NO, I don't have a PhD in Lit - almost as bad: MBA - I was hoping to get into tech mgt and be the PHB that actually knew about tech - ya know, the PHB that techies respected because I was there.

    Instead I'm told I was stupid for doing so. I was stupid for going back to school and I was a sucker.

    I am told that there's something wrong with me. I am told that I wouldn't be unemployed if I had the "skills".


    Well folks, Java, C++,C,SQL, Windows 32/MFC.WPF,C#, Linux, Unix, OS/2 are all worthless skills! Because those are what I have.

    Wiling to have a book FedEx'ed from Amazon to cram to learn a new skill that the mgt decided to use after you were hired isn't worth anything.

    No, hiring mangers want you to know everything before hand.

    You know, I looked at current salaries and they're at about 70K for most higher level developers these days. Back in '99, those same developers were getting over 100K.

    Recently some friends of mine who are C++ guys jumped on jobs that paid 60K+ here in Metro Atl. They were making almost 100K at their previous job. But with all these H1Bs and others being imported, pay has been depressed and they got bills to pay - like student loans for that BSCS they paid through the nose for so that they could have job security.

    And in the meantime, Bill gates and Mark Fucker - Zuckerberg are begging kids to learn programming.

    I'm beginning to understand why people have become revolutionaries and followed some asshole who screwed everyone over after they took power - like Castro.

    Please excuse the grammar and spelling errors: I'm in a rage.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:54PM (#43374427)

    From experience, I can say there has been a big change from 2004 to 2012.

    In 2004, my company got masters degree candidates for bachelors degree salaries.

    In 2008, my company got bachelor degree candidates for bachelors degree salaries.

    In 2011, we were getting disengaged bachelor degree candidates. They basically counted on working for us for 6 months and then being rotated elsewhere. This had the expected and predictable effects.

    In 2012, they laid 90% of us off and replaced us with infosys people. They unexpectedly lost another 5%. Infosys was unable staff so we had the weird situation of not even training our replacements but recording training sessions. I went to lunch with a few of the survivors last week and it's a complete mess.

    Funny thing is- apparently these workers count as still being indian employees of infosys. They are working some fantastic hours, don't have the skill set and are trying hard to acquire it, but they are not getting paid U.S. salaries even they they are located in the U.S. - just good pay by Indian standards. Apparently they'll be rotated back to india and another similar crew will be brought in. I don't know- perhaps it's that 6 month thing overseas like we do with Aramco. I hear they are living 6+ to an apartment.

    So we are competing in our own country for jobs with people being paid in the $35000 to $50000 range when those jobs cost $100k locally and require degrees that are a lot more expensive to obtain here than in india.

  • Re:talent! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @08:04PM (#43374497)

    The reason employers prefer H1B employees isn't due to salaries - they get paid competitive wages. The reason they prefer H1B employees is because, if you fire someone on an H1B, they have a very short window to find a new job in America before being deported. Which means they are very scared of losing their jobs, which means that if you tell them to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, they will.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @08:07PM (#43374517)

    One interesting thing I noticed with H1Bs from Ireland is that their education cost them 0 because that was paid for by their government. That alone seems like an unfair advantage, one that makes Congress seem a tad hypocritical to me.

  • by satch89450 ( 186046 ) on Friday April 05, 2013 @08:09PM (#43374533) Homepage
    One of the issues that always comes up when talking about H-1B is that employers say they can't satisfy their needs with the talent already available. So, how about adding the requirement that any H-1B applications require the company post a "Help Wanted" ad in a national database for three months before the application is approved. Let's see why companies don't like citizen talent. Let's see how citizens can fill those jobs.
  • Re:talent! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @08:17PM (#43374601)

    Reasonable should be no less than 50% ABOVE the median income of the area they are getting hired to work in. If the companies really can't get workers in that area, then they should be willing to pay more.

    You find me a job, ANY JOB, where they lack qualified applicants and I can show you a job where they don't pay enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06, 2013 @12:47AM (#43376283)

    It actually costs a company more money to hire a foreign worker than a U.S. worker. You have over $2000 in USCIS filing fees. If a company doesn't do the work in-house it cost at least another $2000 in attorney fees. If the qualified U.S. workers were out there we would be hiring them. Another thing to bust your conspiracy theory, we must by law pay a foreign worker Prevailing Wage so they are being paid fairly (compared to people in the same role in the particular geographic region - down to the county). We by law have to pay PW to these workers, but we don't have to pay PW to U.S. workers. So tell me again, is it really cheaper? And a lot of these people end up applying for a green card. So they all are not coming here, learning and going home. They are paying taxes and contributing to the economy. I am a citizen, and am tired of people that don't know that facts whining about this.

  • by Emperor Shaddam IV ( 199709 ) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:38AM (#43377857) Journal

    I went to the UK a few times as part of my job employed by a US company. I usually arrived via Gatwick. I had a US passport, but no Visa since I was working for a US company temporarily at their offices. I was "grilled" at the airport in Customs by a british custom/immigration agent for around 10 minutes. I even told her I had a house in the US and I wasn't going to be there more than 2 weeks. But I still had to answer all these questions and I was treated like I was trying to "sneak" in to the UK.

    I also went to the Philippines several times and went through some of the same mess and I had to get multiple Visa's to stay beyond 2 weeks each time, even though I was working for a US company based in the Philippines and had no intention of staying or taking jobs from local residents. I was in fact there to train staff.

    I went to India one week to conduct training working for a US based company. I had to get a letter of introduction from someone that worked as my office, a visa that cost a couple hundred dollars from the Indian Consulate, fill out a bunch of papers with my personal information, and then I got treated like crap and ordered around by security in the Bangalore airport a few times by security officers brandishing assault rifles. I was there to train consultants from India. If anything, I was helping to train the local staff, not taking any jobs from anyone, but I still had to jump through all these hoops for 1 week. Only 1 week.

    In my experience, I think the US is probably not as much as a hassle compared to other countries. I dispute what you are saying.

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