One again H-1B season is upon us. Today USCIS starts taking application for next year's batch of H-1B visas. Although we are in the midst of a severe economic downturn, it is likely the entire visa quota will be exhausted -- demonstrating industry's demand for cheap labor is insatiable.
H-1B supporters will likely try to spin this into a "brain drain" issue and claim the limit on H-1B visas keeps the Einsteins of the world out of the country.
Have no fear. The United States still has unlimited visas for the world's truly best and brightest. Do not expect hear lobbyists mention "O" Visas. Einstein would still have no problem getting into America.
Instead, what we see is an attempt by lobbying groups to dumb down the meaning of "highly skilled" to mean "any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a college degree (even from a correspondence school)."
The fact of the matter is that H-1B workers are poorly paid and they tend to represent the bottom skill levels in technical fields.
To those who claim we don't have enough H-1B visas -- the U.S. already imports more H-1B engineers than it creates engineering jobs.
H-1B is all about cheap labor. Calling H-1B a program for the "highly skilled" or "best and brightest" doesn't make it so.