May 22, 2007

US Immigration, the H1B visa, Sen. MCcain and Google

The topic of the US immigration policy is obviously of interest to yours truly - recall I am a Canadian residing in the US. An article of interest appeared today that I wanted to share.. apparently US Senator McCain paid a visit to the Googleplex recently and was asked a number of questions in his "job interview"... the topic of immigration came up... "If Google is going to be able to maintain its supremacy in the world, it is going to have to continue to get the best and the brightest from all over the world, and I accept with your gigantic egos, that you are the best…we need an H1B visa program that works". I frequently scour the web for material about the H1B visa - recall this year the quote expired on day 1 leaving many people out of luck - one day??? 2 years ago it took months to hand out 65,000 H visas WTF??? It's interesting to see how the topic dominates the India press - I guess it should since they hoard about 80% of all the H1B visas - a little heavy in my opinion.. how about spreading them around a bit eh? Aussies also have an unfair advantage and have an assured quote of Visas made available to them - a pretty cozy arrangement. The H1B visas topic is important to the high tech industries (even geospatial) and will affect many big names (think ESRI, Autodesk, Sun, HP, Google, and many others). Finally, it will be interesting to see if illegal residents are provided amnesty and a chance at getting a green card simply by paying up $5k (gee, I wish I had that opportunity)... until then those seeking to work in the US legally have it tougher every year. More on this topic in this blog post over at ZDnet -


walt said...

Glenn, as a Canadian, you don't have to worry about H1Bs do you? You get the TN visa option - we have a Canadian working in our office that's holding one of those.

Glenn (The "GISuser guy") said...

well that's true although TN is a tough visa to be on.. it expires annually, there's no guarantee of renewal (although one is typically pretty safe for several years 5 or 6 may be pushing it) but the hugest issue with TN is that a TN holder typically cannot start the green card process... with the TN visa comes the issue of "dual intent" which is a big problem. A TN holder who start the green card process is typically viewed by INS as having intent to stay permanently. This is often grounds for TN renewal rejection... pretty scary!

walt said...

I just found that out today from our TN holder as well. Forget bringing your family etc.

There should be a better mechanism for granting H1Bs for those jobs that truly need them.

Of course, then the rub is how you define "really needing". Did you see that Duke study refuting the IT industry's arguments of lack of US talent to fill jobs?

Glenn (The "GISuser guy") said...

I don't think I'd jump in and say for TNs not to bring their family etc... there's loads of TNs that are working in the US with families etc.. and have done so for several years.. its just the uncertainty that makes it a less-than-desirable visa and thus the H1B or other longer term visa (L1,O, etc...) and much more desiarable. ITs tough to say but I would have to think that with the current "cluster" that exsists with H1Bs that TNs may be slightly less scrutinized than in the past - there's been horror stories where Canadians on TNs have been left high and dry and screwed over which is even more hard to comprehend when you think of millions of illegals being potentially forgiven and even given amnesty.. it's pretty crazy really - lets reward those breaking the law and penalize those that have gone through all the hoops, expenses etc.. typical of working here legally.

Niki said...


Could you please confirm, if the Immigration Bill comes into effect, will the pending applications with USCIS again have a lottery system for the remaining H1B visas out of 115000, for work starting Oct 1, 2007. Is it not too late already to do another lottery?