Wednesday, June 13, 2007


In an earlier blog I had written about the over subscription of H-1B visa applications for 2008, the present quota being 65,000 from all countries. Since historically Indians account for more than 50% of H1-B entrants to the USA, this was clearly bad news for Indian technicians and other qualified personnel hoping to gain employment in the USA. In spite of the lobbying from employers to raise the quota, I had reluctantly concluded that ".. However, the reality is that these limits will probably not be increased any time soon, while the Great Immigration Debate rages on through the United States as part of the 2008 election campaigns.."

For a while it seemed that my prediction was too pessimistic, since the recent Immigration Reform Bill contained a provision to raise the quota to 115,000. Alas, this bill has been defeated in the Senate, mainly because of opposition to other clauses, but of course the net result is that the H1-B visa position remains closed for 2008.

While the heated discussion in the USA on this subject has focused almost entirely on Mexican migrants, the implications for immigrants from other countries have largely been ignored. In particular, the significance of Indian immigration is largely lost on the US public. It is a little known fact here that India accounts for the second largest number of immigrants to the USA, after Mexico. Even more significant, in terms of legal immigration, Indians rank far higher than Mexicans, who are only sixth on the scale of legal immigrants.

The contradictions and inequities in the Immigration Reform Bill which caused it to be denied passage will mean that the flow of Indian qualified personnel to the USA will probably continue to remain in check, at least through 2008 and perhaps beyond that date.
One favorable exception though is in the category of Nursing. Because of the severe shortage of nurses in the USA, a special category of Green Card (Schedule A) has been created for qualified nursing practitioners, and Indian nurses have been taking advantage of this category. As a result, they now constitute the second largest number of foreign nurses in the USA (after those from the Philippines)


Anonymous said...

would it be possible to look at the H1B visa from the angle of corruption ??

And the favourablity of the NIVs tha actually promote brokerage of intellectual capital.

Surely the H1visa does promote competitiveness, but it has also created the largest illegal population from India....those large in numbers that have overstayed their expired visas.. or those that get out - of -status.. (not illegal)

KPMG Sponsored "Fraud Survey Report 2008" does state India as Corrupt and this corruption has indeed risen 60% over the past year !

While companies are worried about the retention, the tightening of immigration policies by host nations, and our lack of internal systems in place to scrutinize resources is creating an alarmingly growing void..

it is a disaster now... the next two years it will indeed be a catastrophe ...

religious hatred, resource imbalance, infrastructure, migration issues, ....

Your thoughts ?

Anonymous said...