What is the H-1B Visa progam
The H–1B visa program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers. This could be in occupations that require the knowledge. A Bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.
A foreign worker with an H-1B visa can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of six years. The H-1B visa and status is initially valid for three years and can then be extended for another three years.
Obtaining an H-1B visa, which is allocated through a lottery system, has become increasingly hard in the past few years. The Department of Homeland Security currently caps the amount of H-1B visas. 65,000 per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for applicants with advanced degrees.
The benefits of the H-1B visa are supposed to assist companies that have a serious job need. The idea is to get some one in to work it until a citizen can replace them. That would be in a perfect world.
Workers exploited ?
H-1B workers can be exploited since they receive lower wages. There is also no benefits from the company that is hiring them. The following link provides insight on the numbers where they are located as well as the industry. There are 2 huge companies from India (Infosys and Tata) that use the H-1B visa as well to hire workers.
Workers lost jobs to outsourcing
Companies have sometimes removed the american worker and replace them with cheaper labor under the guise of H-1B visa. In 2015 Information technology workers at Southern California Edison were laid off and replaced by outsource workers. The former employees trained their H-1B visa replacement.
Jim Reynolds may have the solution
In a recent CNBC interview Jim Reynolds CEO Loop Captial wondered why go for H-1B workers instead of training them. Colleges have to start understanding what is needed in 5 years not what is the current trend.
What now ?
H-1B visa provides assistance when a job needs it. The big issue is on the company that is only looking into cheap labor and will exploit this. Right now the President has suspended the program while COVID-19 is high. After the virus is defeated the H-1B program needs to be evaluated again.
So does the H-1B visa really helps ? In a tight job market but not at the moment when college students or laid off workers are looking. This program can be manipulated by companies. Salaries are low for the type of worker they want to bring in. There are Americans looking for work and can do the same job given to the H-1B visa worker.