Show me the visa

Ok. So the US of A is mired in a recession: people are losing their homes, their jobs, etc. Companies hate to hire recent graduates because they “don’t have the experience” (unless you’re Barack Obama, that is a fatal drawback), and yet…yet….companies want the quotas on H-1B visas (foreign worker visa) to be increased so that they can hire more international students who have been recently graduated. With no experience. Is this fair to citizens of our country? How is this fair? How is this right? Shouldn’t our jobs first be handed out to us first?

“This is an outsourcing visa,” said Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, a Summit, N.J.-based advocacy group that opposes more H-1B visas. Berry said it’s cheaper for companies to hire new foreign college graduates than older U.S. workers.

Frustrated by the limited number of these so-called H-1B visas awarded each spring in a random lottery to highly skilled foreigners, U.S. technology executives have tried to find ways around the problem while lobbying aggressively to increase the annual cap.

Microsoft, Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and other large companies have opened or expanded research facilities outside the United States. And some companies have resorted to gaming the system: filing multiple applications, along with the $1,570 to $3,320 filing fee, for each potential hire to boost the odds of winning one of the coveted visas. The fee is higher for large companies and for expedited filings.

“You can imagine our frustration,” said Robert Hoffman, vice president of government affairs at Oracle Corp., which, like Microsoft, insisted it has not filed duplicate applications. “We have 1,000 job openings at Oracle we can’t fill because of the arbitrary nature of visas and the arbitrary way they are selected.”
California technology companies, as well as financial institutions, culinary institutes, and healthcare providers, have pushed Congress to raise the annual limit on the visas. Temporarily increased to as high as 195,000 during the Internet boom, the cap dropped to its original 65,000 level in 2004 as job demand declined. Companies apply for the visas for prospective employees who have at least a bachelor’s degree in a variety of specialized fields. The visas are good for three years and can be renewed for another three. Recipients often apply for permanent residency during that time.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. These companies want us to understand their frustration?! They could be hiring me, yet when I go in for an interview, being a citizen and all that jazz, they will tell me that I don’t have the experience…but the dude interviewed after me, who also has no experience? Well, they will file a $1,500+ application so that he can get the job instead. Sigh.


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