That means Congress isn't raising H-1B visa fees this year. A proposal to hike fees to $5,000 from $1,500 was scrapped. Good news for employers.
But Congress isn't raising the annual H-1B visa cap beyond the current limit of 85,000 either. (Bad news for employers wanting to hire foreign tech workers, good news for U.S. IT workers opposed to the competition.)
But without the hike in H-1B visa fees, there's also no funding available for a new American Competitiveness Scholarship program that would've provided merit-based scholarships of up to $15,000 annually to U.S. students pursuing tech-related degrees.
Isn't that bad news for just about everyone?
The pro H-1B visa lobby says the U.S. isn't producing enough home-grown talent employers need. And the anti-H-1B visa crowd says employers just want to hire cheaper labor from abroad.
The scholarship program might've helped attract more American young (and presumably less expensive) people into the tech-talent pipeline. The scholarships could've also helped older American workers further their education with new degrees.
So, if the U.S. continues its status quo on H-1B visa policies, who are the real winners and real losers in all this? Tell me what you think.