US engineers’ body seeks curb on H-1B visas on outsourcing fear

In a statement,the body alleged that most of these visas are being grabbed by those companies which outsource American jobs overseas.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published: March 31, 2013 12:41:30 am

Claiming that H-1B visas lead to outsourcing of US jobs,an American professional body of engineers has opposed the move of expanding the most popular working visa among IT professionals.

“The H-1B programme shouldn’t be used to facilitate the transfer of high-paying jobs to other countries. If Congress wants a full US economic recovery,it shouldn’t even think about expanding it,” IEEE-USA President Marc Apter said.

Beginning Monday,the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting applications for H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2014 starting October. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA is the largest body of electrical and electronics engineers in the US.

In a statement,the body alleged that most of these visas are being grabbed by those companies which outsource American jobs overseas.

“Starting next week,proponents of an H-1B visa increase will bemoan the fact that the H-1B cap is already used up. But it was outsourcing companies — businesses who use the visas to take American jobs — who used nearly two-thirds of them” Apter said.

Referring to data compiled by the US Department of Labour Office of Foreign Labor Certification,the body said the top 10 companies applying for H-1B visas in the first three months of fiscal 2013 are all offshore outsourcing companies.

These 10 organisations collectively had 1,12,739 positions — representing 73.4 per cent more than the base annual H-1B cap of 65,000 — certified to be filled by an H-1B worker. Many of these work visas are issued to scientists and engineers,it said.

Moreover,64.1 per cent of the 1,75,806 certified H-1B applications from just 1 October to 31 December 2012 went to these 10 companies,and there are many more than 10 outsourcers,IEEE-USA said.

The body has sought a legislation providing employment-based green cards for skilled immigrants earning advanced STEM degrees from US colleges and universities,and their dependents.

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