[Computational Complexity] US Visa Limit Reached
The US has reached its limit for H1-B visas not just for this fiscal year but for the next. A foreign technical worker wanting to work in the US wouldn't be able to start until October 1, 2006.
First some background. Here is the official description of the H-1B.
Established by the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT), the H-1B nonimmigrant visa category allows U.S. employers to augment the existing labor force with highly skilled temporary workers. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years. The H-1B visa program is utilized by some U.S. businesses and other organizations to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field. Typical H-1B occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors. The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000.Of those 65,000, 6,800 are set aside for free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore, effectively leaving 58200 visas. During the dot.com boom the number of H1-B visas available was raised to 195,000 but lowered again in a misguided attempt to save American jobs. Congress did allow an additional 20,000 visas for foreigners who have received advanced degrees in the US and there are still a few of those visas available.
These low visa limits will just cause large corporations to continue to develop and grow their overseas R&D labs. Instead of having these workers in the US helping our economy and advancing science and technology in the US, these limits will add to the erosion of the US dominance in these areas.
Do a Google News search on this topic and you get mostly foreign articles on the topic. While the visa limit does not directly effect US citizens, we should all be concerned about its effect on our country's ability to lead in S&T.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 8/16/2005 11:01:00 AM