back to article US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Apart from marrying an American, the best known route for foreign techies wanting to (legally) share their expertise for a fee in the US is a work visa. But this route is overcrowded, increasingly expensive and, should Donald Trump become America’s 45th president, it'll likely slam shut for many hoping to work in Silicon …

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Who wants to work in the US anyway?

I mean it's hugely expensive, there is little infrastructure, there are only few jobs that are interresting and non destructive.

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Re: Who wants to work in the US anyway?

With a few exceptions the entire US is a bargain basement compared to the UK -- the cost of living is cheap. There's plenty of infrastructure, especially in urban areas. Jobs are variable, just like anywhere else. Its not a lucrative as it used to be.

The biggest mistake an English person can make coming to the US is not remembering that its a foreign country. Sure, you can more or less understand the language and read the signs (of which there are far too many) but the culture, although familiar in a way, is actually very alien.

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Re: Who wants to work in the US anyway?

"Who wants to work in the US anyway?

I mean it's hugely expensive, there is little infrastructure, there are only few jobs that are interresting and non destructive."

.

odd you don't say where you're from. I've had the good fortune to travel in over 50 countries. the US has no equal.

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Re: Who wants to work in the US anyway?

There are many places in the US (and Canada) that are very reasonable places to live. One common mistake many make is underestimating the size of the US or Canada compared to say UK or France. For example to drive across the US or Canada is a multi-day journey, the distance is roughly the same as crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Also, parts of both are very sparsely populated, particularly northern Canada and the western US.

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Umm.

It seems implausible to me that Trump could be elected. (Of course, it seemed implausible to me that he could be the nominee-apparent, and there he is.)

There is a great ambiguity in tech employment. On the one hand there are the H1Bs who are designing chips at (let's say) Intel or MIPS, and who have genuinely rare tech skills. On the other hand, there are the H1Bs who are doing basic CRUD or such work, and whose skills are not rare at all--it's just possible to pay them a bit less and control them more than the local talent. Do you really think that the replacements at Disney all graduated at the top of their class from IIT or ETH?

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Stop

Gah!

This nationalistic pride in technology is stupid. All 'new' developments are based on earlier 'new' developments back through the mists of time. Therefore, those who should be honoured for setting the ball rolling were the early humans who discovered how to make fire.

I understand they were in Africa at the time.

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WTF?

So let me get this, the US Of A$$ have quotas, but when Obumface came over to have a round of golf with Camoron, he wants us to remain in the EUSSR who do not let you have quotas to members citizens. Typical US Of A$$ hypocracy at work and Obumface needs to put his own house in order before opening his clap trap about UK and the EUSSR !!

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@ Wolfclaw

What Obama said in Britain is that the country is stronger and of greater importance within the EU than outside. I have no doubt he is right too.

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Make Them Fair

First, no company in the US should be allowed to staff more than X% of workforce (spread equally across the various employment levels) with visa'd employees. If you're an Indian company needing an American presence, fine, but why would you need 50% of your 50+ workforce to be foreign nationals?

The visas should be used only to staff people you cannot find locally. To that matter, every position available to a foreign person should first have to be offered locally (i.e. posted on job sites and in news papers, distributed to recruiters, etc...). And finally, the pay should be commensurate! If you have 20 engineers, and 5 of them are on visas, the pay to the 5 visa'd employees should have an average/median pay on par with the 15 Americans. "Wouldn't American's be forced to work for less?" By capping the percentage maximum of visa'd employees, companies would have to offer a salary that will entice US citizens to work for them. Supply and demand (as with any job) will work out a "fair" salary, with the added bonus that not every position now has to be fought for against a cheap foreign national.

And where does the money paid for Visas go? I say increase the cost 10-fold (at least), and pay the extra money into scholarship funds for US citizens to improve their own skill set. Let the companies claiming they can't find competent workers in the US pay to make our US citizens more competent!

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Re: Make Them Fair

"Blah, blah, blah, blah"

Good point, but I work with mostly Indian folks, and the reason they are needed is that most of the US programmers in the tech industry are complete shit. I have yet to meet more than a handful of US born programmers/devs who are not just wasting air and a nice chair. The vast dearth of good programmers, and other tech folk, must be filled, and the best way is with grads from the many tech schools in India, or other tech savvy countries like; UK, AUS, NZ, Japan, etc. They learn mostly Java and I think C, but whatever they are doing there, in India, is working; the better programmers are usually the people from a country that does not stifle innovation and creative thinking like our mostly shitty schools here do. They can only go as fast as the slowest person, and that is a shame. I have to make up for the crap educational system myself by reading select tech topics in all the newest branches. There are more programming jobs than people who can program at a enterprise level.

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Happy

Re: Make Them Fair

"and pay the extra money into scholarship funds for US citizens".

A country that doesn't understand the importance of affordable and good education for the whole population is bound to fail. Even the Soviets with that rubbish system did not give up on STEM.

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Re: Make Them Fair

. I have to make up for the crap educational system myself

Oh, the irony - India and Japan studied and implemented current research into public education that US researchers developed but never successfully applied in American schools.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/magazine/why-do-americans-stink-at-math.html

Takahashi was especially enthralled with an American group called the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, or N.C.T.M., which published manifestoes throughout the 1980s

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Re: Make Them Fair

"Oh, the irony - India and Japan studied and implemented current research into public education that US researchers developed but never successfully applied in American schools."

Because most Americans DON'T WANT to implement tough national standards. Indeed, many school districts feel each should do their own thing, not realizing this inevitably causes uneven education. Come on! You can't have it both ways! Either you're going to have uneven education or your kid could be left behind (and note, extreme social pressure is one reason Japan has such a high suicide rate; South Korea's even worse).

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WTF?

H1B - "degree-level skills"

To handle Windows trouble calls and backup servers?

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Coat

It's worse: new Trump Vice Pres choice is...

Vlad "The Inhaler" Putin.

Is that Trump/Putin 2016, or Putin/Trump 2016? Sounds like a crap in two suits either way.

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abuse not limited to tech!

There are visa Abuse's in every sector of the US economy. This is the real issue at the heart of the controversy. Although I'm not a Trump fan, far from it, the abuse of the US visa programs need to be addressed. If the tech sector really wants to help themselves, then they should be addressing the main issue, and help clean up the programs. Stop the whining, and do something proactive to protect workers rights. Then perhaps you will have more credibility. And as for Trump doing anything, he can't be trusted because he has been on every side of every issue. So, stop the "FUD"

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Re: abuse not limited to tech!

With few exceptions, and none of them I can think of right off the top of my head, the H1b system is one corrupt crap fest.

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The numbers for H1-B are far higher. There are to be 65,000 new visas for industry at the college-graduate level of skills, there are to be 20,000 more for high-tech workers with U.S. graduate degrees, and there are to be no limits at all for H-1B workers toiling at university addresses - not necessarily working for an academic institution, but simply working on campus. This year the 65,000 and the 20,000 limits have already been reached. Then there are H1-B workers who stay after their visa is up, who know how many of these guys are sitting in a job illegally. The visa system in the US is broken and is tailored to replace American workers with cheap, clueless foreign labor.

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Have an upvote to offset the clueless moron (or maybe the sock puppet) who gave you a downvote.

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@ ecofeco

I think the down vote might have something to do with this - "cheap, clueless foreign labor.". Never mind the "labor", but ending a "speech" with a fart doesn't always work that well.

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Something else that was abused

The H1-B was supposed to allow companies to bring in essential workers to do jobs that couldn't be filled by US workers, but instead as usual it has been abused by companies in order to cut their costs by bringing in cheap overseas workers to replace more expensive US employees. They are not filling positions that can't be filled, they are filling positions that can be filled far cheaper and getting their what will soon be predecessors to train them.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't bet on it. The purpose of these visas is to drive salaries of skilled employees down. If Trump cripples this program and the wages for these people go up, it will piss off major corporations and the rich. Trump exists to support the rich and they will take it out on him. Just my opinion

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What is a "native" to do??

Being a native (yes, I was born here) of Sillycon valley, I've seen it all. You start in the tech industry (I wrote my first program over 50 years ago) and keep on going. If you have people getting these visas (what no Master Card?) you need to wonder what is really going on. In this day and age, one could just as easily do "work" from the other end of an internet connection, as a physical embodiment most likely isn't needed. So, we have a couple of cases: 1) Import the worker (for whatever reason) and let them find out what it costs to live here in the USA, or 2) export the job to the other end of a wire where monsoons happen yearly. Given the choice, importing a worker may be the better choice.

The bigger problem is that job providers (companies) are having trouble getting proficient talent. The younger ones seem to think that right out of school they are entitled to a nice $100k job when they have no experience (and being tied up in acedemia for so long think that they can program a BIOS in Java or some such. The more experienced have figured out that they don't know everything and apply their skills to forge ahead. When an economic downturn happens they hope it doesn't last too long (unfortunately not the case for the last 8 or so years) then soldier on.

Life goes on, and visas will be issued, jobs exported, and iron turns to rust. One hopes for startups and new horizons and keeps a positive attitude which is what we should all hope for. (*SIGH*)

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Re: What is a "native" to do??

Entitled graduates aside (and what else is new there?) the problem is not the ridiculous expectations of the less experienced, but the deliberate ostracizing of those with experience because they have earned their wage level and the blatant and documented widespread abuse of the H1B system..

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Quality over quantity

Both Trump and Brexit would reduce mass unselective migration, thus make selected migration EASIER!

Bad people take half a story and conflate it with their prejudices to create a monster that doesn't exist

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Re: Quality over quantity

Most unselective migration is the result of desperation. Take a look at what's happening not just in the US but in Australia and throughout Europe. Millions of people are basically fleeing a death sentence for just a chance elsewhere. With the Grim Reaper at their heels, they have the most powerful motivations to persevere. Put a wall up and they'll just find a way to get past it. In the US, they use tunnels or hit the boonies. In Europe, they cut fences. In Australia, they make mad dashes in overloaded boats. AND the UN's getting on everyone's cases to stop being so cruel to the disadvantaged.

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Open It Up!

There should be no limit for qualified personnel! If a company/country cannot obtain the educated personnel locally, by all means go get them elsewhere. Lots of excellent talent in this small global community... Let's use it to our advantage!!

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Discriminatory? How Sad.....

You could say that organized abuse of non-immigrant visas by Indian outsourcing companies have screwed up the system for everyone. Time to be discriminatory.....this is supposed to be a way for companies to recruit to overcome talent shortages but its turned in a bear pit dominated by people who know how to play the system.

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Ahem

Once more we remind you that the Prez is not a dictator. VISA laws are set by Congress. He can propose, they dispose.

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Anonymous Coward

I emigrated to the USA on an O-1 visa a couple of years ago, after I sold my family company's IP to an American firm with whom we were always on good terms with. The purchase came with a job offer I couldn't refuse. Right now, the product lines I brought with me are turning over $1,000,000, and my exceptionally wide range of skills (which were vital to the O-1 application) used to develop a whole new line of products

What would Mr. Trump do with the likes of me ?

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@Coward...

>What would Mr. Trump do with the likes of me ?

By now you have probably figured out that Mr. Trump is "full of it". The mouth runs ahead of the brain. Over the next few months you'll see all this walking back as his potential cabinet takes shape. Its will be filled out with 'the usual suspects'; President Trump may run his mouth 24/7 but the Republican Establishment will run the country. (Not a very edifying prospect, IMHO -- they haven't got that great a track record.)

Congress has already made the life of immigrants a lot more dicey by systematically expanding the number of ways a person can be summarily deported while systematically reducing the discretion of immigration officials -- or judges -- to use discrimination in those cases. Its remarkably easy to fall foul of the system and the only defense is to become a US citizen. This has a number of drawbacks, among them being that your financial soul becomes the property of the IRS in perpetuity.

So what would become of you? Business as usual.

BTW -- I came to the US on an H1 in the 1980s, back when the visa process seemed to follow the rules. Now there's probably a ton of talent out there we can't get at because the system is clagged up with unnecessary Indian IT contractors.

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Anonymous Coward

fer feck's sake

Are you all ravin' loonies or something. Downvote me all you will. Sure, 'experts' should not be coming into a country to -replace- perfectly good local 'experts' doing the same job, agreed. (I'm not sure where I'm going yet, but this comment thread is just full of hateful 'they're stealing my job' guys).

I worked once for a high-tech company which at one point decided to try to push the product into the US, at some success. Thing was, it was pretty niche, and you wouldn't just hire random bloke with IT experience to do it. My company brought in several engineers, on various visas to do the job -AT FIRST-.

After deployment started to roll out, and things were smoothing over, we started hiring local US engineers and trained them for the job, and slowly but surely all us evil "furners" moved out to other countries, after having created upwards of 50 jobs in the US. AFAIK, as I left the company, they are still doing great, and expanding.

The general attitude you give is "we Merkin's know everything better". You don't. Sometimes, even in IT, there are small, innovative companies that are actually smarter, and hold a niche, and they create jobs.

If you are an asshat company hiring call center folks from India on H-1B, then fine. Gettafuckouttathere. You don't need to do that.

FFS. Trump? You will get all you deserve.

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Re: fer feck's sake - FFS. Trump? You will get all you deserve.

While I agree with most of your post, could I just point out to you and some others that the alternatives were Cruz and Rubio?

It was like the Russian electorate being given a choice between Stalin, Yeltsin and Putin. If that was what was on the table, voting Putin would be the rational decision.

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Joke

Re: fer feck's sake - FFS. Trump? You will get all you deserve.

Well, whatever happened to "None of the Above"?

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Im from the US and I have no problems with someone from another country coming here to work. After all the vast majority of Americans were immigrants not too long ago. The problem is when companies (like Disney, etc.) feel its ok to fire someone who is doing their job and well and threaten to not give them their benefits unless they train their replacement. They all do this because they know they can bring someone over and hire them fora fraction of the cost.

Forcing companies by law to pay someone working on a visa as same as someone who is a US citizen is the only way to solve this problem. Sadly i cant support the visa system as it stands right now until this is fixed

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"Work" visa's should be limited to situations where local employees are unable to be found for the position.

But visa eligibility should be based up qualifications and local requirements, not political BS from a multiple time bankrupt who wants to build a wall with half of the construction workers being illegal immigrants.

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Or they could educate Americans.

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Anonymous Coward

Donald Trump auditioned for the US version of "The Ring" horror movie

However he didn't get the part of Samara as he hoped, apparently his back combing was too extreme for the US movie rating system

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Here in the US, the big companies that use H1B workers aren't looking to fill positions that they can't fill with domestic talent. They're using it to get indentured servants who will work for a fraction of the cost.

Trump is looking to put a stop to that, and good for him. American jobs need to be filled by American citizens. Unless the unemployment rate is ZERO, the H1B cap should be ZERO.

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