I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that in just one day, the quota for H-1B visas in the United States was filled for 2008. What brought this fact home was later that same week I had to pass on a job applicant (already located in California) that did not have current H-1B status–leaving me unable to hire a qualified candidate for my team.
While Congress continues to try and protect our native workforce with legistration that severly limits the issuing of H-1B visas, I’m afraid it is not having the desired effect. From my perspective on the design industry, there are not enough workers in the US (or at least California) to fill the open positions. Therefore this law is protecting no-one.
The reality is that I have to find a way to get the work done on my team, I have no choice but to try and expand the amount of work I outsource to vendors offshore. Therefore no only is the work is no longer being done in the US but Congress is also not collecting payroll taxes on that work (since it is paid via expense money to an offshore company).
The restrictive H-1B laws seem to be a lose-lose situation for the US.
Update 8/22/07: The NY Times today ran a great story on how the best solution to the “reverse brain drain” is to grant high-tech workers permanent visas (or green cards).