Google calls for hike in H-1B visas

Google calls for hike in H-1B visas

Summary: Technology issues are never a big deal in presidential elections, as much as some people think they should be. One that Big Tech is trying to push, though is the H-1B visa situation.

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Technology issues are never a big deal in presidential elections, as much as some people think they should be. One that Big Tech is trying to push, though is the H-1B visa situation. Bill Gates has been lobbying hard on the issue and now Google has signaled it's a big concern for them as well.

On Google's Public Policy Blog, Keith Wolfe and Pablo Chavez write that 30 percent of the company's 300 H-1B applications were denied. That's gonna happen when you have 10 times as many applications as are allowed under the 65,000 cap.

We realize that many people have strong views on the topic of immigration. Some commenters to our recent post on H-1Bs criticized Google for not hiring more Americans. Although we're committed to hiring outstanding American candidates, Google hires employees based on skills and qualifications, not on nationality. Many times our strongest candidates are Americans; in fact, about nine out of ten of our U.S.-based employees are citizens or permanent residents. But if we're to remain an innovative company -- one that is creating jobs in the U.S. every day -- we also need to hire exceptional candidates who happen to have been born elsewhere. After all, if we were to hire only U.S.-born talent, we would effectively close ourselves off from most of the world's population, and tools like Google News and orkut (both of which were invented by former H-1B visa holders) may have never been developed.
The limits are restricting technology from hiring the best candidates from around the world, Google said, and putting U.S. companies at a global disadvantage.
Simply put, restricting Google and other tech companies from employing the best and brightest minds is restrictive to our ability to grow and innovate. We continue to urge the U.S. government to raise the H-1B cap, to ensure that we and other American companies are able to attract, hire, and retain the world's top talent.
Should the government respond to these appeals by raising the H-1B cap or by – finally -- investing properly in math/science/technology education? (Does anyone even know what it would take to get U.S. education delivering topnotch mathsci ed?) While Google's post also boasted about their investments in U.S. education, that's a hard problem compared to getting Congress to putting a "1" in front of that 65,000 number.

Topics: Google, CXO, IT Employment

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32 comments
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  • They immigrate because their country sucks

    There's plenty of ways to make money in their own country.The Internet is computers talking to computers.
    BALTHOR
    • They immigrate because...

      they have skills that go beyond the small proprietary Windows world. There is a demand for real IT skills and not just Windows skills. If more Windows people would branch out from the fold, they would find there is a great demand for them. Being limited to the Windows environment is fast limiting the possibilities for those workers.
      bjbrock
      • it's not because it sucks

        it's not because the contry sucks.. it's because of the cheese. you seem to be whiner and hater huh, remember you were just an immigrant before. there are qualities of h1 holders that are not in a local, "patience and hard-worker".
        h1b_losser
        • "patience and hard-worker"

          You sir, are incorrect. I know many "locals" that have more patience and work harder. Although when it comes to the tech-industry (especially programming), patience and "working hard" do not necessarily help much. It's much more about the ability to "work smarter". Unfortunately, from the h1 holders I've directly worked with, I've not seen very much of this.
          Litehouse
    • not quite

      If it wasn't for the US companies going over their either hiring the technology companies based there or forming a subsidiary, I don't think there would be as much opportunity.

      There was a show on PBS a couple years ago interviewing business owners who were telling how much red-tape and hassle they had gone through to try to get electric power to a small clothing plant or similar business. Bureaucratic hassles just stifled people trying to get something started.

      Many professionals and businness people just gave up and came to the US because of the relative ease at staring your own small business here.
      dinosaur_z
  • very well

    How about lobbying for changing the H1-B process this way:
    1.increase the application fee since they displace Americans that paid taxes and loans to get there.
    2.No more tie ins for the visa holder to a certain company
    3.The starting salary should be above the average for that proffesion(they are smarter than the average American, that is the whole point of bringing them here, isn't it!)
    4.If there is more demand than the allocated number, the companies should bid an extra premium (just like ebay) and the winner should be the highest bidder.

    That would be pretty fair to me!
    Linux Geek
    • Already been done

      >>> 1.increase the application fee since they displace Americans that paid taxes and loans to get there.

      Already been done. The application fee for an H1 is close to $3500 per application.

      >>> 2.No more tie ins for the visa holder to a certain company

      H1s have been "portable" for years now.

      >>> 3.The starting salary should be above the average for that proffesion(they are smarter than the average American, that is the whole point of bringing them here, isn't it!)

      There will always be outliers, but salaries have to be higher than the prevailing wage, as decided by the DOL.

      >>> 4.If there is more demand than the allocated number, the companies should bid an extra premium (just like ebay) and the winner should be the highest bidder.
      Will the companies do that, or will they offshore the job ?
      sudeep.jain
  • Companies asking for increases...

    are basically saying American IT people suck.

    I guess the next question is, "do they?"
    bjbrock
    • Well...

      Yes and no. American's can be lazy and some reason in the IT field this is a huge problem. However Indians can't grasp a lot of concepts and are constantly destroying projects because of their inability to understand logical operations.

      So Americans are smart, but lazy. Indians are semi-smart, but will work 12 hour days for 1/2 the price and benefits.
      ZachE84
  • RE: Google calls for hike in H-1B visas

    Why not hire some of the 10,000 people from the US that are said to apply to google every week? Oh, thats right it would cost more than an HB-1. We have too many qualified Americans that need jobs in this economy so if anything the HB-1 should be halted until they can prove there is no one to hire in the US
    Tawnik
    • It's not the cost....

      it's the quality of the IT labor force. Most are stuck in the Windows proprietary world and can't deliver what Google needs. IT personnel that have refused to branch out into the Open Source world are going to regret it. Companies have discovered they can get a better return on their investment with open source and they are looking for IT personnel that can deliver that return.

      Windows people understand Windows. Most Open Source professional understand IT. If all you know is Windows, your prospects are thinning fast.
      bjbrock
      • Dr3am 0n

        Sadly, all the H1Bs I've encountered are studying Microsoft-related materials. Gee, who's telling them they're going into a dead-end career?

        It really is about the cost and making unfair privilege of overseas costs, while preventing the benefits for American consumers. (I mean, for a global economy, we can't even import drugs from Canada... drugs probably made in China anyway, like that recalled methotrexate...)
        HypnoToad
    • Google pays its H1b employees more than the prevailing wage

      large companies do not discriminate based on price.. infact, google pays more to their software engineers than the prevailing wage.

      http://blogs.eweek.com/careers/content001/h1b_foreign_workers/does_google_pay_their_h1b_workers_better.html
      sudeep.jain
      • Google games the system

        Yes, I saw the eWeek piece. But these guys aren't
        supposed to be just over average; they're supposed to be
        "best and brightest". The best engineers, according to
        Google, can produce 300 times as much as the average. If
        merit meant anything, the best should be paid 250-299
        times as much as the average. Even if he misstated and
        meant that the best can produce 3 times as much, then
        they should be paid 2.5 to 2.9 times as much.

        But the gifted account for less than 5% of H-1B recipients.
        And the program was not intended to flood the job market
        or replace the many bright, knowledgeable, creative US
        citizen STEM workers, but merely to supply some extra
        temporary workers with knowledge in some peculiar niche.
        In that case, neither Google nor any other firm should be
        applying for more than 5 H-1B visas.

        Meanwhile, Google continues to set requirements/
        qualifications for US citizen candidates several levels
        above what is necessary for them to do the job for which
        they're actually being hired.
        Professor8
  • RE: Google calls for hike in H-1B visas

    BINGO

    Why are their now H-1B visa issue for baseball or basketball or hockey players?

    The wages are unreal in these "professions", if the IT skills were really so short the "players" with them should be worth as much to Google/Microsoft as Yao Ming is to the Houston Rockets!
    wkulecz
  • Disgusting.

    Totally disgusting. H1-B's need to live and stay away. Useless SOB's if you ask me. I left my last job and are now working at a government location to get away from them.
    ZachE84
    • re:Disgusting.

      With this attitude, you will soon have to find out another job. May be a pizza delivery man ? Or may be a LOSER (if there is a job like that.. LOL) Because most H1B holders apply for a greencard and later apply for US citizenship and they do get it. Then there is nothing that prevents them from taking up a Government jobs.
      mKind
    • you're just afraid...

      You h1b hater are just afraid because you're not even brighter and competitive than the h1b holder. I conclude, you're just an average. That's the point here. If you're really that kind of challenging and competitive, this is what you're going to say, "Bring them on here, let's see what they've got."
      h1b_losser
    • Re: Disgusting

      What a disgusting comment I must add. Apparently not too useless if they filled your shoes in your non-government job.
      harrisharris
  • RE: Google calls for hike in H-1B visas

    Direct and factual article... Let your actions be heard and approved by the Congress. We are counting on you! Geniuses aren't only born in US! Accept that, there are people who are naturally gifted and doesn't even need to be pampered by education. This is like you were seeing a gold from another island but wouldn't able to get it because you need to search and dig hard for long at your own.
    h1b_losser