H1B visas, the golden ticket for foreign IT workers wishing to join the American workforce, has had a turbulent year. On one side, industry heavyweights like Bill Gates pushed hard to increase the number of H1B visas, while IT unions and local politicians pushed back to preserve jobs and decent salaries for U.S. citizens. We covered this quite a bit earlier this year, but as spring gave way to summer, it all seemed to fizzle out into the old status quo.
Well, not quite. You may have caught an eWeek article last week about how new legislation is set to bump up the cost of H1B visas significantly, from $3,500 to $5,000 per application, and a slew of new measures to protect American IT workers’ interests.
Today, InformationWeek reported that 13 state governors have banded together to lobby Congress and Senate for — you guessed it — increasing the number of H1B visas. This is a new level of escalation we have not seen before. Time will tell what impact, if any, this will have, but I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the last word on the issue has not been said yet. Whichever side you root for, stay tuned as we watch for the next move in this high-stakes chess game.