Our laws impose the completely unnatural, unrealistic, uncapitalistic quota of 65,000 (plus 20,000 for US Master’s Degree holder) visas for H-1B, a visa reserved for professional skilled personnel. Since the government year starts on October 01, and they accept visa applications 6 months before, the first day one can file the petition is April 01. The job actually starts from October 01.
From 2006 to 2008 more than that amount was filed with the USCIS on the first day. The government resorted to a lottery. Then came the economic downturn and the visa filings were slow. Now again, as the service centers start counting the visas today, its expected to at least reach or exceed the quota this year. This means that the economy looks better.
The counting starts today, on the day that the job records came out with a bleak report that hiring has slowed down in the USA. I am sure that the anti business immigration folks will scream about job preservation. Yet, the jobs lost in the US are federal government jobs and retail jobs partly seasonal and partly due to the sequestration. None of these jobs are tech jobs. If America idolized colleges for their US News and World Report rankings rather than the NCAA rankings, we would not face a shortage of tech personnel.
However another major problem is the quota itself. Computer consulting companies are the main users of the H-1B visas. They have to predict their usage for the year. Once the quotas are gone, they cannot get labor to supply their clients, and have to take a major hit.
The other reason is that the educated spouses of H-1B holders, (on H-4 visas) cannot work. Dependents of L or J visas can. But for some completely inane reason, dependents of H visas cannot work. So these H-4 visa holders approach Consulting companies for jobs. Consulting jobs are hard. Not only do you have to know computer science, you also have to travel places with the job. Americans simply wont work that hard or travel that much.
Thus we should do away with this unnatural quota. Let the marketplace dictate needs. Yet the Obama Government simply will not handle immigration piecemeal. They want those Hispanic votes and wont do anything for the country until they get those votes.