H1B Visa – Out of Vogue

May 23, 2011

For the last twenty years or so, the H1B Visa was a status of envy, second only to the Green Card. If you didn’t get your green card, at least you had your HIB. This allowed IT personnel to live and work in the U.S.

Well, it looks things are changing in the face of new immigration laws and a tightening foreign workers coming to the U.S. to offer their specialized talent. Outsourcing has been a heated source of controversy in the U.S. with many people thinking that this trend in cutting costs is taking away jobs from Americans.

Surprisingly, legislation such as a $2000 hike in visa fees is having a negative effect of people coming to the U.S. With the latest addition, it could cost up to $3000-$5000 for visa fees. All this seems to be deterring companies from bringing their people for on-site work.

In 2007, the application taken by the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) for 2008 were filled in just three days. In total there were a total of 65000 positions to be filled. The candidates for 2012 were less than 5900 in the first week. This seems to suggest that the attraction towards the H1B visa dwindling.

Nandita Gurjar, chief of human resources at Infosys, noted that the IT sector is growing. It is also true that U.S. firms are taking in more domestic employees rather than employing people from faraway destinations like India.

She added, “We are working around this by hiring people in the US. Last year, we hired 1,000 people and we think the number would double this year,” said Gurjar. She continued to say that t IT firms are lagging in their H-1B applications. This has now become an option for most firms.


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