U.S. Fills Its Latest Quota Of H-1B Visas For Foreign Workers - InformationWeek
05:30 PM
Connect Directly
[Cyber Attackers] How They Research Your Organization & What To Do About It
Jul 13, 2017
In this eye-opening webinar, you'll learn how attackers can take advantage of your website, employ ...Read More>>

U.S. Fills Its Latest Quota Of H-1B Visas For Foreign Workers

The United States has filled 20,000 slots for foreign workers with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

The United States has used up the 20,000 H-1B visas it set aside for foreign workers who earned a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university. That allotment was established last year on top of the 65,000 general H-1B visas the country issues to companies wanting to hire a foreigner to work in the United States.

H-1B visas are a hotly debated immigration policy, since they allow foreigners access to work in the United States. Employers—led by IT companies—argue they need them to access the best talent in the world and that the United States doesn't produce enough science and engineering talent to turn foreign workers away. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is among the tech leaders who've spoken out in favor of expanding H-1B visas, saying U.S. companies need to import expertise or expand abroad to find it. Unemployed and underemployed IT workers see them as a way to import cheap labor and hold down U.S. wages.

The 20,000 visas are for people from other countries who get advanced degrees from U.S. schools and otherwise would have to return home to find work. The exemption was seen as necessary to keep those advanced skills in the country and make U.S. degrees all the more appealing for international students. Tuesday was the last day that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services accepted visas under that exemption. The 65,000 general H-1B visas for this fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, was filled in August. People can apply for next year's visas beginning in April. Workers can still file for extensions of existing H-1B visas.

IT employment picked up in the last year, with the jobless rate falling to 2.9%, down from 4.3% in 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some IT job categories have been hard hit by offshore outsourcing and automation the past five years, in particular programmers. Though the number of programmers grew 3% last year, the 581,000 programmers employed is 22% less than in 2000. While some of those workers have transitioned to new jobs in IT—project managers, network administrators, security specialists—many haven't found IT work. For those workers, the H-1B only adds to their problems.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll