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Microsoft wants 20,000 extra green cards per year too

Microsoft is willing to pay the U.S. government for additional H-1B worker visas, saying there aren't enough skilled Americans to fill its available job openings.
More specifically, it suggested that the government raise $500 million a year by tacking on an extra $10,000 fee for each newly created H-1B visa or $15,000 for each new green card. This money can then be used to offer better education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for Americans. Microsoft noted that not enough Americans are skilled in these areas to keep up with demand.

In addition to raising the number of visas offered, Microsoft wants the government to give 20,000 extra green cards per year.

H-1B visas allow foreign workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in their field. They can renew their visas every three years. Green cards, on the other hand, allow foreign workers to live in the country permanently. Currently, the government offers 65,000 visas a year, but in the past has seen numbers as high as 195,000.

Microsoft is one of the largest sponsors when it comes to H-1B visas. Ten percent of its 57,400 U.S. workforce are H-1B visa holders. From 2010 to 2011, it applied for about 850 visas annually for new employees on their very first H-1B visa. In 2011, Microsoft sponsored over 4,700 H-1B workers for green cards.

Many worry, however, that Microsoft is just looking for cheap labor. An issue is that Microsoft and other corporations don't need to prove that there aren't skilled Americans to fill these jobs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) even warned that there are "inadequate safeguards" that protect skilled Americans from being booted out of jobs for cheaper foreign workers.

"The biggest myth people have is that a company like Microsoft somehow looks to foreign workers as an easy supply to displace American workers," said Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for human resources. "We simply cannot find qualified Americans to fill these jobs."

An analysis of Microsoft's green card applications shows that 25 percent were entry-level workers and 61 percent were a step up as software engineers or marketing managers. Most hold technical jobs, but most also make fewer than six figures while many graduates usually demand over $100,000 annual salaries.

Source: The Seattle Times

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RE: Seems legit..
By Florinator on 11/26/2012 3:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Who would you like to retrain to be a nerdy software engineer? The assembly line worker laid off from Boeing?

Microsoft doesn't pay as well as Amazon, Facebook and Google (which, in the case of the last two, opened offices in Seattle just so they can poach people from Microsoft), but to claim that Microsoft pays half the industry average is ludicrous.

RE: Seems legit..
By FITCamaro on 11/26/2012 8:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
A buddy of mine works for Microsoft making over $100k a year. Granted in California but still damn respectable.

Yeah they pay peanuts.

RE: Seems legit..
By YashBudini on 11/26/2012 8:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you are clueless about cost living in CA or more likely you only consider the high costs and taxes when it suits your argument.

A model of objectivity you are.

RE: Seems legit..
By FITCamaro on 11/27/2012 6:59:07 AM , Rating: 2
I'm well aware of the costs of living in California. About $120k a year is still plenty to live on there. Maybe not buy a home. But he's also still young and hasn't moved up yet. Nor does he want to since he plans to get his doctorate in AI.

RE: Seems legit..
By YashBudini on 11/27/2012 11:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Is he in CA where tax payers fund his education instead of standing on his own 2 feet? Pick and choose conservatism? Or simply master of opportunity?

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