Microsoft Looking to Pay Gov. for Extra H-1B Visas, Claims Not Enough Skilled Americans
November 26, 2012 2:38 PM
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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.
The Seattle Times
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RE: Seems legit..
11/26/2012 10:19:56 PM
I'm Canadian, a control system engineer for industrial equipment like turbines, compressors, generators. The last major project I worked on was in Texas and completed last year. A full refurb and retrofit of a major facility, (which i won't say which one so people don't get mad) The American oil company, lead by american managers, intentionally went outside the US and put the company I worked for incharge of the project. A multi-million dollar project. Why did they do that? And why did they specifically ask for outside help? They literally said to our face; that the local help wasn't any good. I found that hard to believe, but when I got down there it was obvious that they were right. In the entire facility, 100's of workers only 1 handful knew what they were doing, and the vast majority of local contractors were just as incompetent. It took major effort just to find a local person who actually cared about the work they were doing. We did hire alot of local trades to do construction, which the American managers were upset about and it did cost alot... mostly in terms of the canadian boys re-wiring all the Americans work because they didn't know how to read electrical drawings. In the end it was our Canadian engineering which took a facility that was flaring nearly every day, wasting thousands of $ every minute, and brought them down to less than 1 flaring event a year. The local towns people actually thought the plant shutdown because the flaring had stopped. I wouldn't have believed the local help was so bad at maintence, at engineering or even the trades had I not been state side and seen it first had...along with the environmental impact they were causing.
The facility had a full time engineer and the entire year we work there he did only 1 thing, he made new signs to mark a few of the H2S heads... I don't think the problem is that companys going outside to get workers, its cultural problem or education system which is creating an un-employable workforce.
RE: Seems legit..
11/28/2012 10:55:32 AM
Your scenario is also an example of a failure of supply and demand. Nobody's asking why.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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