With Congress bogged down debating far-reaching immigration reform, a new bill proposes separating the issue of whether to raise the annual limit on H-1B visas given to foreign technologists and other professionals.
The current annual cap is 65,000, with another 20,000 for people with advanced degrees earned in the United States. The new Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership legislation, dubbed the Skil Bill, proposes raising the ceiling to 115,000, with options to increase the cap annually by 20% based on the needs of employers. The bill, which was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would exempt from the annual H-1B cap any professional with a postgraduate degree from an accredited U.S. university. It also proposes letting employers pay an extra fee to expedite the processing of an immigrant petition. Some U.S. IT pros claim H-1B workers take jobs and lower wages.
If the ceiling for H-1B visas were raised, business demand for those individuals would be "off the charts," says VP Kevin Knaul of IT staffing firm Hudson, which employs about 80 H-1B techies. The bill isn't a lock, though. It may be separated from the reform bill, but controversy will stick with it.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.