H-1B Visa Application Day: Sorry, All Out!

By April 1, 2008Human Resources, Innovation

From The Washington Times:

Technology firms across the nation are crossing their fingers today as the U.S. opens the annual visa application window for skilled workers. Last year, the annual cap of 65,000 was reached on the same day.

Despite industry’s efforts to raise the issue with lawmakers and the public, this year’s quota of H1-B visas is likely to disappear just as quickly.

“Without adequate access to these types of key employees, a lot of U.S. companies will be forced to cancel U.S. projects or move them offshore, like Bill Gates did,” said Ian Macdonald of the law firm Littler Mendelson.

That’s the big picture. Here, courtesy The Chicago Tribune, is the microcosm:

Madhura Godbole speaks four languages. Since receiving a second master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago last summer, she has been developing software to produce blood thinners for heart patients.

But it’s luck, more than her impressive résumé, that the Indian-born engineer needs this week, as she enters a fierce annual competition for a small number of visas given to highly skilled foreign workers.

Isn’t Madhura Godbole precisely the kind of highly skilled and U.S.-trained employee that benefits the U.S. economy, not to mention American civil society?

P.S. Another personal account from Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, which concludes: “America continues to maintain an incomprehensible and counter-productive immigration policy, damaging both pocketbooks and heartstrings from Silicon Valley to the Bay of Bengal. Unless Congress and the White House do something to fundamentally reshape immigration rules with respect to skilled workers — setting aside for the moment the gardeners and construction workers who get all the news coverage — things will only get worse.”

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Alex says:


    You obviously have not read the link that you cited. All the CIS report shows in that H-1B immigrants are paid below the prevailing market wage, but that is because H-1B visas are for a specific company and not for the skilled worker. It is restrictive policies that hurt these people. The best check against an abusive employer in not the federal government, but the worker’s ability to quit that job. Thanks to “do-good” socialists like yourself, many high skilled workers are virtual serfs.

  • Exploited H1 holder says:

    I did my degree from top grade college of India and worked in very reputed companies of India including an American one. For years I got less then $50 K and had to pay moving expenses from my pocket in between the projects. Every one involved in the project made solid money except me. If I have a green card I will get at least $100 K. Company treats me like creature. My fault is that I came to USA with family and children have been educated here. I need green card and have to endure what is unthinkable in India. The body shopper behaves as if he is doing me favor when pays compensation. I am psychologically not in shape to provide my best. I could NOT buy medical insurance for few years for my family. I have proof for what I have mentioned here…

  • American says:

    The Center for Immigration Studies has already proven, decisively, that the H1B program absolutely depresses wages, and that the majority of visas do not go to “highly skilled” workers but rather to average workers who are willing to accept a lower than average wage. This is fact.


    Nobody is opposed to allowing highly skilled workers to fill jobs that Americans can’t fill, but as the CIS study proves, this is not what’s happening.

  • India says:

    BTW who are “Americans?” bunch of immigrants?

  • It is not an issue of being a foreigner or an American. H1-B visas are opportunities for companies in America (including foreign-based and America-based companies) to recruit talent that they are not able to find within Americans to help their business or to help AMERICA. In Madhura Godbole’s case, her specialized skills are not only benefiting the company that she is working for, but with her skills she could potentially cure a lot of AMERICAN patients who are suffering from heart disease.

    There is always a misconception about H1-B employees. People see them as cheap labors, but these people do not understand the cost for an employer to hire these H1-B employees are much higher than to hire a regular American employees. One of the first requirements to apply for a H1-B visa for the employee is that the company must pay the H1-B worker a higher salary than they would normally hire an American worker to do the same job for them.

  • An International Graduate Student says:

    I’m a recent graduate with 3 master’s degrees from a prestigious US university and I just landed a 6 figure salary with a fortune 50. They pay me a ransom because very few people can do the job I do…oh and btw did I mention I’m an international student!… Get a life people, if you have top education you get top $$$$$$ whether you are an international or not!….most American students are just plain lazy and then they complain!

  • Jack says:

    Madhura works for third world wages making rich Americans even richer. No wonder no American student want to pursue a dead end IT or engineering career.

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