As The H-1B Visa Cap Filled In Record Time, Reform Is In The Air
By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee
For both critics and supporters of the H-1B visa, two days last week
revealed everything you need to know about the foreign worker program,
one of the most controversial topics in business technology.
In the first two days that the U.S. government accepted
applications for H-1B work visas, 133,000 envelopes poured in with
applications seeking 65,000 openings. The crush was enough that U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services cut off new applications, certain
the envelopes it had–many with multiple applications–would fill the
slots. It’s the fastest the application period has ever closed. Last
year, the cap was met May 26, the year before that in August.
H-1B visa supporters see the overflow as reason to raise the cap so
businesses can get the talent they need from abroad. Critics see the
queue as a mockery of what the H-1B is supposed to be. Instead of a
ticket for the supertalented to work in the United States, the visas
are being hoovered up, often by offshore outsourcing
companies that want to train workers on U.S. business and technology
practices so they’ll be better workers when they head home.