More on H1-B visas and their abuse

Our recent opinion piece on H1-B visas has elicited a fair amount of comment. As we point out in that editorial, abuse of H1-B visas has been widespread and has gone on for a long time. Companies abusing H1-B visas affect not just engineers, but also IT workers. So we found a recent piece on the betanews.com site interesting for some of its insights into H1-B abuse.

One of the things it points out is that there are plenty of options for getting real scientists into the U.S. without even worrying about the H1-B:

"There is a misconception about the H-1B program that it was designed to allow companies to import workers with unique talents. There has long been a visa program for exactly that purpose. The O (for outstanding) visa program is for importing geniuses and nothing else. Interestingly enough, the O visa program has no quotas. So when Bill Gates complained about not being able to import enough top technical people for Microsoft, he wasn’t talking about geniuses, just normal coders.

I don’t want to pick on just Microsoft here, but I happen to know the company well and have written over the years about its technical recruiting procedures. Microsoft has a rigorous recruitment and vetting process. So does Google, Apple -- you name the company. All of these companies will take as many of O visa candidates as they can get, but there just aren’t that many who qualify, which is why quotas aren’t required.

So when Microsoft -- or Boeing, for that matter -- says a limitation on H-1B visas keeps them from getting top talent, they don’t mean it in the way that they imply. If a prospective employee is really top talent -- the kind of engineer who can truly do things others simply can’t -- there isn’t much keeping the company from hiring that person under the O visa program.

H-1B visas are about journeyman techies and nothing else."

Thanks to reader James Finkel for pointing us to this article.

Please or Register to post comments.

Blog Archive
Connect With Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×