Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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3/28/2012
07:58 AM
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India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections

U.S. makes it too difficult for foreign tech pros to enter the country on H-1B and L-1 visas, Indian commerce minister says.

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India's commerce minister told his U.S. counterpart that he is concerned about what he said are rising rejection rates for applications by Indian tech pros to obtain work visas in the United States.

Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma said he had "a frank discussion" with U.S. Commerce secretary John Bryson during bilateral talks Monday in New Delhi. Sharma told reporters afterwards that his concerns were sparked by the fact that rejection rates for H-1B and L-1 applicants' visa applicants have increased 28%. Sharma did not cite a source for the number.

"There have been concerns over the high rate of rejections," said Sharma, according to the Times of India. "We had a very frank discussion, including some of the issues on which the U.S. has concerns."

Bryson is in the midst of an official, six-day swing through India. The United States is seeking greater access for American manufacturers to India's burgeoning industrial market. "It's clear that if American and Indian businesses work together, we can build India's infrastructure in a way that bring inclusive growth, greater prosperity, and job creation in both countries," said Bryson, in a statement.

[ Wall Street IT execs are jumping to Silicon Valley start-ups, consulting firms, and technology providers. Is Wall Street Losing Its IT Career Luster? ]

The visa issue is contentious. Immigration proponents say the United States needs to import foreign high-tech workers to fill what they claim is a shortage of American workers with key IT skills, particularly in growth areas like mobility and cloud computing. And both U.S. and Indian companies say it's getting more difficult to import tech workers to the United States. "The industry is facing such issues, including [Indian outsourcer] Wipro," said Wipro international operations CFO Sridhar Ramasubbu, in an e-mail.

A recent study by The Partnership for a New American Economy, which is backed by a number of tech and business giants, including Microsoft, Boeing, and News Corp., found that 18% of the companies on the 2010 Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants. "The findings are clear, immigrants drive our economy," said the group.

But opponents say any easing of immigration rules would make it more difficult for unemployed tech workers to find jobs in an economy that has yet to fully recover from the recession. In particular, some argue that a possible move by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to broaden the definition of "specialized knowledge" that L-1B applicants must possess would negatively impact U.S. workers.

"Such an interpretation would make it easier for someone to qualify as possessing L-1B specialized knowledge, even if they have ordinary skills and work in a position for which there may be unemployed U.S. workers available," said Daniel Costa, a policy analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, and Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in a letter sent Monday to USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas.

A USCIS spokesman confirmed that the agency is hoping to issue new policy guidance on L-1B specialized knowledge by the end of the month. "USCIS has actively engaged with the public on the L-1B classification, including most recently at a forum at the end of January hosted by the Chamber of Commerce," the spokesman said.

"USCIS is currently reviewing its L-1B policy guidance, which is comprised of a series of memoranda dating back to 1994, to assess whether that guidance assists adjudicators in applying the law in new business settings that companies face today," the spokesman said.

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Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
4/4/2012 | 8:03:09 PM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
Ummm... spell and grammar check, please?
Elvis99
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Elvis99,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 5:45:16 PM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
To open a business in India, US Corporations must be 50% owned by an Indian Citizen. Lets use the same criteria for H1Bs and L1B's - one of their parents should have to be a US Citizen!
bronecki
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bronecki,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/30/2012 | 11:28:32 AM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
Hell yes, finally the United States government is getting the picture! Why hire in immigrants when we have skilled Americans who can provide the same services and fill the same positions? We are taking food off of our own tables and hurting our own economy by providing this H1-B visas. Thank you US Government for at least once being able to stand up for yourself and Gǣjust say noGǥ to bleeding heart liberal help-everyone type policy when we need help right here on our own soil!

God Bless America!
Bluebear
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Bluebear,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 2:48:39 PM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
I worked for 20 plus years at BlueCross when one day the CIO walked in and announced that management had decided to move the programming to the Philippians. The decision was made by the CEO and CFO in light of the new health insurance affordable act. The rationale given was the company could employ 5 to 6 Filipinos for each American and the company would on not have to social security, Medicare, workers comp, health and life coverage, as well as vacation and sick pay.

Senior management new that it would take several years for the Filipinos to come up to speed but the saving would out way the any problems incurred during the migration of responsibilities. That happened over 3 years ago and IGm still outside the profession.

My story is identical to a friendGs, he worked at large telecom with his wife both spent a year training their Indian replacements before they were terminated.

The severance pay may be good but once you reach 45 and over the chances of finding a new job in the industry is near zero especially if you had progressed into a management position.
mkorkowski
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mkorkowski,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 1:02:34 PM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
I say too bad. We have many many people out of work here that need jobs. In fact we need to to home grow our technical staff again since they farmed everything out to the lowest bidder time and time again. Now maybe the tide may be turning or at least giving us a chance. I say have a nice day India. No offense but we need to employ our guys first in our homeland!
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 11:34:04 AM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
Cigna was always a crap company treating its employees like dirt. Been there, done that, never go there again...and still wondering why these bastards are still in business.
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 11:32:56 AM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
This isn't any different when trying to get a work visum for India.
OhioProgrammer
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OhioProgrammer,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 5:44:47 AM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
It's really a simple case of supply and demand.

Pick any city, let's say, Denver, Colorado. Now, bring in 100 busloads of freshly graduated plumbers (4,000 new plumbers), who want to enter into the plumbing business in Denver, and make a living.

The result? Wage rates for plumbers will become depressed. The existing 960 plumbers in Denver, once busy every day, and making a good living, will now have much less work, or no work at all.

The school for plumbers in Denver, will have no new American students. All the Denver highschool kids hear from their fathers and uncles that plumbing is no longer a good way to make a living. The plumber wages are going down, down, down. In droves, they choose some other path in life. Who can compete with improverished hordes of plumbers from India who will work for any price. India has 1.17 BILLION people, and many of them are coming here, flooding our labor markets.

This is what the H1B visa has done to the American engineering profession. H1B brings thousands busloads of foreign engineers to America, thus driving down wages, closing American engineering schools, and discouraging American kids from majoring in engineering.
jkoller853
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jkoller853,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/29/2012 | 12:21:43 AM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
I thought it was only 72% of all statistics are made up :). Guess even that number is rising. I have to get with the times.
frustrated IT worker
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frustrated IT worker,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/28/2012 | 10:17:12 PM
re: India Lodges Complaint Over H-1B Visa Rejections
I liked your points. You are absolutely correct. What will happen to our recent graduated US students in IT? They can't get a job.
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