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India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow

Authorities lodge U.S. Trade department complaint, say immigration process for tech workers is overly cumbersome.

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Indian authorities have lodged a complaint with the U.S. Department of Trade, maintaining that the process for foreign nationals to obtain H-1B work visas is too cumbersome and that rejection rates are approaching all-time highs.

"Uptake of H-1B visas this year is less than half of the annual prescribed limit and the rejection rates have gone up," said Indian commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who spoke at an economic forum in Washington, D.C.

H-1B visas are good for three years, and can be renewed for an additional three-year term, for a total of six years. Currently fewer than half of the 65,000 H-1B visas available from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the upcoming federal fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, have been applied for, even though the application window opened April 1. That's down 30% from the application rate at the same time last year.

Sharma said he would ask his U.S. counterparts for measures that would help streamline the application process, which can take several months to a year. India benefits from the program in that its workers often return home after working at U.S. tech firms with experience that helps indigenous companies.

[Groups that represent tech workers oppose easing visa rules. Read Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers.]

Some U.S. officials have also expressed concerns that obtaining H-1B visas is too difficult and that the process hurts the American economy.

"In today's global marketplace, we cannot afford to keep turning away those with skills that our country needs to grow and to succeed," said New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, at a recent speech sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for a New American Economy. "I've called it national suicide--and I really think it is."

Bloomberg cited a number of studies that he said showed that immigrants working in high-tech fields help to create jobs for Americans through investments, entrepreneurship, and by helping U.S. companies become more competitive globally. "These high-skill workers will not only help create thousands of jobs, they'll also give us knowledge of foreign markets that will help U.S. businesses increase their exports."

Bloomberg said the United States risks losing top global talent to countries like China, India, Canada, and Chile, all of which have instituted programs designed to make it easier for high-tech professionals to immigrate. His comments echo calls for immigration reform by executives at major U.S. tech firms, including Microsoft.

The software maker says it has thousands of open positions it can't fill because it's unable to find workers with the right skills. Microsoft recently opened an office in Vancouver, Canada, with an eye to providing a base for overseas workers who are unable to obtain an H-1B visa or green card.

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User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2011 | 5:36:26 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
Arguing against the Bloombergian-replace-an-American-with-a-foreign-national pod-person crowd is like arguing auto-theft ...

... where you are forced to debate the thieves, and their cohorts all the way down the feeding-chain, and the preceding, thief, benefactors, and useful-idiots alike, are heavily funded by the crime-lords and their lobbies, via the G«ˇtakeG«÷.

Death-By-Foreign-National is not laissez-faire.

Death-By-Foreign-National is not free-market.

MNCs' [/media/and academia] are not [supposed to be] in charge of U.S. immigration.

Visas such as H-1b, should be immediately suspended. MILLIONS of our better paying jobs would be instantly RETURNED, to Americans, in America.

HOW can anyone speak of returning jobs to Americans, while they ignore, or worse, lobby for, the CONTINUED replacement of MILLIONS of Americans, in American offices and worksites, with foreign nationals?

Start Article:

MUMBAI: US diplomat Peter Haas, recently appointed consul-general in Mumbai, stressed the importance of people-to-people contact in Indo-US ties.

US-India people-to-people connections are more powerful than any government initiative, said Haas. "While 8 lakh Americans travel to India each year, the US issues half a million non-immigration visas to Indians yearly," he said adding that Indian citizens formed the largest group of people to be issued H1B and L visas by the US over the last year.

End Article.

H-1b, L-1s, OPT, J-1, B-1, lotteries, green-cards, and on and on, and on, and on, it is no longer enough to stand as a nation and compete with the world-at-large, but no, the world at large will be brought to you, so that you may compete with them in your own offices and worksites...

Start Article:

The J-1 student work-travel program was created in 1961 to offer work opportunities and cultural enrichment for foreign students, and in the process, create goodwill ambassadors for the United States.

But the kids arenG«÷t working in professional settings that complement their studies.

TheyG«÷re toiling in warehouses for huge companies such as HersheyG«÷s, which have laid off hundreds of workers, and resorts, from Disney World to MoreyG«÷s Pier in Wildwood, and for much lower wages than Americans earned doing the same tasks.

ItG«÷s a great deal for U.S. companies, because they donG«÷t have to pay payroll taxes, Social Security or health insurance for J-1s.

One Spring Lake staffing company even has a nifty calculator to help businesses compare the costs of hiring J-1 vs. American workers.

End Article.

We should also revoke some or all green-cards, RETURNING a MASSIVE number of jobs, for Americans, in American.

And then there is the issue of sending our jobs offshore, often implemented by those brought to our country on visa, or those having become a green-card holder, who then coordinate the shipping of entire departments, knowledge-bases, and ultimately, entire industries, out of our country.

And what of, low to medium wage jobs? We can look towards our wide-open borders, and consider the traitors that advocate a nation without enforcement of its own borders, its laws, and disinterest in its own sovereign best-interest, survival.

And yes, it is Americans who have facilitated this betrayal of Americans, by corporations, supported by a sold-out government and press.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2011 | 11:46:18 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
Exuse my ignorance, but I completely forgot, since when India controls and coordinates the U.S. internal affairs, have such influence over the State Department? I still remember the time when back in the earlier 80s 'till mid 80s people from Bangalor, almost single handedly put the U.S. Nuclear Industry out of business by sucking it dry. They are very perceptive when it concerns money in large quantities. And how about our university graduates, who cannot find engineering jobs in the industries, as aerospace, computers, and other hitech fields, when they are filled by funny speaking part-time immigrants?
Our not so wise politicians and leaders completely forgot the lessons of history. It is time, when we have to put a stop on the bleeding of our technological advances, whatever left
out of them, over to India and China, because those outsource brains from there, are
transferring all our knowledge back to their countries, India and China. Please, stop to
undermine our true growth, and past glory! We have enough of our own brains to work
successfully in any hitech field, as how we have put man on the moon, back in 60s,
and, by the way pay taxes back to our own country! Do not destroy our middle class,
in order to help India and China growth!
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2011 | 11:50:56 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
I would like to direct "India Incorporated" to our new H-1b complaint department:
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 5:52:32 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
The only problem with the H-1B program is that it exists.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 6:03:58 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
"India benefits from the program in that its workers often return home after working at U.S. tech firms with experience that helps indigenous companies."

Should the U.S. be accepting inexperienced H-1Bs?

Leo Regulus
Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 6:06:40 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
Hmmmm......... India wants to 'dump' it's 'top' talent? I would have thought that they had plenty of room for their people in their massive call-centers that are supporting US based clients.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 6:48:11 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
By all means, we should open the floodgates to H-1B visas so that the foreign best and brightest can work for us instead of their own country. We should lock out American workers unless they want to get in tune with their inner sweatshop worker. We should export the manufacturing of all the goods we designed to save costs and at the same time hope there will be no leakage of our IP that the H-1B visa holders helped develop and will magically forget when they return home. Let us keep American workers forever out of the loop in technical expertise and practical knowledge of manufacturing. A service economy is a strong economy and "do you want fries with that?" should be the words coming out of our college graduates.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 7:32:02 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
The H1-B program should be put on IMMEDIATE, INDEFINITE HALT. We have engineers HERE in the US without jobs and people graduating from school that can't find jobs. H1-B is SUPPOSED to be only when there are people we CAN NOT FIND here!!!

>>>India benefits from the program in that its workers often return home after working at
>>>U.S. tech firms with experience that helps indigenous companies.

So much for sending people that have skills that US companies need. This line alone points to the fact that India is sending INEXPERIENCED WORKERS here to LEARN and take their expertise BACK so THEY can compete with US...

THIS MUST STOP or there will eventually be a REAL REVOLUTION here in the US.

MICROSOFT is one of the BIGGEST DEMONS of all. They SAY they have thousands of jobs, but I know people they won't even look at, yet they have hired INDIANS on H1B with FAR LESS EXPERIENCE. They (MICROSOFT) should be taken down BIG TIME...

User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2011 | 9:26:46 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
"Uptake of H-1B visas this year is less than half of the annual prescribed limit and the rejection rates have gone up," said Indian commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma

It is a maximum, not a minimum quota required to be met, Anand. As to rejection rates, why were they so low before? It seems to me that itG«÷s one of three reasons: 1) the rules were somehow recently made more stringent, 2) the rules are somehow now being less followed or 3) the existing rules are finally being more closely monitored. Point 1 is the closest to unfair, yet fully within the rights of the granting nation to determine their own rules for who without rights to enter is granted them. Point 2 would be oneG«÷s own fault. Point 3 is most likely and perhaps most damaging to the complainer. It implies that because youG«÷ve gotten away with something before, youG«÷re entitled to continue to.

G«£H-1B visas are good for three years, and can be renewed for an additional three-year term, for a total of six yearsG«•

And (unless things have changed) extended annually in many cases while awaiting Green Card.

G«£India benefits from the program in that its workers often return home after working at U.S. tech firms with experience that helps indigenous companies.G«•

And by immediately creating more jobs through using H-1bG«÷s as business analysts who forward requirements off-shore.

And one more thing to consider: India is the biggest user of H-1bs and has been for much if not all of the time since the visaG«÷s inception. It is the loudest external voice in the program. And Bloomberg, et. al. keep telling us opening immigration is just short of the only thing that can create jobs. Yet the way India predominantly uses the visa (outsourcing / IT services) is the most questioned use of the visa as a job creator v. taker. OK, so thatG«÷s all rehashing what we already are told / see, etc.

HereG«÷s the kickerG«™despite IndiaG«÷s runaway position as the visaG«÷s top user my (admittedly brief) search only found Sun Microsystems as an example of top / hottest immigrant-founded companies founded by an Indian and that was also co-founded by a German. It seems to me that the program needs to be policed even further before you tell me itG«÷s primary use is job creation and not cheap labor.

User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2011 | 11:00:17 PM
re: India Tells U.S.: H-1B Process Too Slow
It will take violent protest to get political power brokers to sit up and take notice. While in the early plans to destroy the middle class - the people occupying the executive suites and board rooms of corporate America should have also set aside more money for personal protection... Perhaps the execs can hire Indian H1Bs bodyguards for that service at an affordable price.
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