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Large technology companies in particular like Microsoft and Autodesk are pushing Congress to up the number of H-1B visas available each year

The U.S. government announced this week that work permits in the H-1B visa program are almost entirely depleted for 2013.

According to the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), 55,600 standard H-1B visas have already been issued out of 65,000 for the next fiscal year. In addition, 18,700 H-1B visas for graduates of advanced degree programs were issued in the U.S. out of 20,000. These numbers were posted as of June 1, and USCIS started accepting applications on April 1.

This is a significant increase, considering it took until November to use up all of last year's work permits. It is believed that this is a sign of better economic times, and U.S. companies are pushing for an expansion of the H-1B program.

Large technology companies in particular like Microsoft and Autodesk are pushing Congress to up the number of H-1B visas available each year. This would allow them and other companies in the U.S. to import workers with skills in technology and finance.

According to a study from Partnership for A New American Economy, which is an industry lobby group, the U.S. will have a shortage of 224,000 tech workers by 2018 if more visas are not made available.

The 2013 fiscal year begins October 1, 2012.

Source: InformationWeek

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RE: Abuse
By knutjb on 6/12/2012 8:06:47 PM , Rating: 3
What should occur is to allow wages to increase commensurate with the demand. This program seems to pander to companies trying to keep wages in those high demand fields suppressed. Stop the inept immigration policy and let those who stand in line in and make it impossible for those who jump the line or fence to stay employed by sending their employers to jail.

Since the end of Apollo the spigots from engineering departments have been closed and universities have become bastions of liberal arts and pseudo sciences.

That said all I hear is open up the H1Bs. Short term band-aid, nothing more. Long term, educators feet must be held to the fire. How many more underwater basket weaving majors do we need? This can be corrected in public institutions. Though they seem to be happy teaching 9th grade math to those pursuing that underwater basket weaving degree. That paradigm must change.

Also the k-12 educational system does little to encourage students to do the hard work required for these fields. They need to held to the same fire as universities.

RE: Abuse
By nafhan on 6/13/2012 10:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
A decent percentage of people who come here on H1B's end up becoming citizens - well educated citizens who increase the productivity of the US as a whole. Further, these are often people who place high value on science and engineering and pass those values onto their American children. If you want to make the country a place where science and engineering are valued, importing some people who value it seems like a good idea to me...

Also, I do think we've reached a bit of a tipping point. Between technology becoming so obviously integrated into our lives and recent celebrity of tech industry leaders, I think more people are starting to realize that maybe there is something to this science and engineering stuff - it's not just for nerds; it's for people who want to succeed in the rest of this century.

RE: Abuse
By JediJeb on 6/13/2012 11:31:18 AM , Rating: 2
One problem though is they see that famous tech person and want to be them, but do not want to have to put in the hard work it took them to get there. Too many today want the end result handed to them at the start instead of working their way up to it.

RE: Abuse
By nafhan on 6/13/2012 2:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, however, that's more of a cultural problem that affects every profession, and it's a separate issue from the disdain that used to be the norm for technical work and knowledge.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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