US Tech Firms Look Abroad for Engineers

US tech companies have long complained that most slots in some US university math and tech programs are filled by foreign students, many of whom cannot stay in the country to work. The US reserves 65,000 H-1B visas for workers deemed “highly skilled” – covering not just engineers but teachers, telemarketers and outsourcing staff – and another 20,000 for foreigners with graduate degrees. Conducted by lottery, the program does not sort among applicants for top training or talent. Proposed immigration reform would lift the cap by 25,000 while making exceptions for "market-based factors," reports Kim Gittleson for BBC News. The bill would also tax companies with workforces including more than 50 percent H-1B holders. Foreign workers receive lower wages, and critics compare the system to indentured servitude. US voters fret about an overall unemployment rate of 8 percent, near 25 percent for young adults. Parents can urge children to pursue math and science; companies can skip the visas, using technology to hire engineers in remote locations with reliable power grids. – YaleGlobal

US Tech Firms Look Abroad for Engineers

Claiming US schools do not produce enough engineers, companies seek to lift H-1B visa cap; some firms could also hire engineers who work remotely
Kim Gittleson
Thursday, June 27, 2013
BBC © 2013

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