H1B visas have remained a hot button topic for SAP professionals for some time, and we’ve covered it quite a bit over the years. Last we heard, there was legislation put into motion to more than triple the H1B application fee, from $1,500 to $5,000. The influx of money would be used to fund new scholarships for U.S. students to the tune of $15,000 annually for qualified computer science students.
Well, that probably won’t happen after all. InformationWeek just reported that the amendment is most likely about the get the boot, which comes as good news to Microsoft, Sun and others who have gone on the record to support easing and increasing H1B visas. They view the H1B visa program as a key component of staying competitive and adequately staffing projects with the best and brightest in the world.
Not surprisingly, American IT workers and consultants beyond the SAP world are less than thrilled.observed that:
“…By depressing the IT salaries, the H1B program has had an unforeseen effect, depressing the enrollment of students in IT training programs in U.S. Universities. Qualified students, seeing that IT positions no longer carry the prestige, high demand and salaries they once commanded have chosen more prestigious, higher paying, or less demanding majors.”
Ashley also quoted anti-H1B crusader Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) from a speech earlier this year:
“The H1B program was intended to fill jobs for a temporary amount of time while the country invested in American workers to pick up the skills they needed [...] Unfortunately, the H1B program is so popular that it’s now replacing the U.S. labor force.”
Clearly, the H1B battle rages on with no signs of slowing down. We’ll continue to track the developments in the months ahead.