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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 Loki726 on 6/13/2012 3:34:50 AM , Rating: 3
I strongly disagree. I am a fourth generation US citizen with a PhD in electrical engineering from a top 3 ranked US university, and I have been responsible for interviewing candidates at high tech companies to work with me on advanced development projects.

To your specific points.
- The salaries are not less. I have many colleagues that work in the high tech industry in Seatlle, Austin, San Jose, and Portland. MS graduates with good work history (internships) typically make between 70-100k, regardless of whether they are US citizens or on H1-B visas. PhD graduates typically make 100k-140k as starting salaries. The best of the best candidates with strong work experience in specialized domains can earn 250k+.The majority are on H1-B or have been in the past. Many are now US citizens or greencard holders.
- The jobs could not go to US citizens. In graduate school, the majority of students (80% or higher) were not US citizens. They were Asian, European, South American, etc, on F1 visas. At technical conferences, conventions, and on the job, the distribution is about the same.

There is money being made by tech companies, but they want to hire the most qualified experts in their field, to continue to drive the development of innovative products.

The majority of those experts are not US citizens. Think about it, how could they be?

We have a population of just over 300 million, which is around 4% of the total world population. Do you really expect us to produce the majority of the high end of the tech workforce? This is an industry where high end jobs are disproportionately located in the USA.

Immigration policy is complex, but I think that H1-B is a clear win. We want the best engineers and scientists in the world to move to the US and contribute to our industry.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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