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The US Immigration Mess Explained

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Posted 15th March 2009 at 09:05 AM by cgj1981

An American organization has 10 engineering job vacancies it has to fill and there are about 100 candidates to choose from;

- 80 are US born
- 20 are born outside the US
- 10 of the candidates have US masters degrees (3 Americans & 7 foreigners)

The company decides it must have Masters Degree workers given the demands of the position, potential for future job growth and it needs the new hires to start in a week. It also wants to minimize costs in the hiring process.

So from the above candidates, company directive for the openings and the current US Immigration system, regardless of who is best for the job will be forced to hire 3 Americans and 2 foreigners.

Why do I say this?

As the US immigration system stands now, it costs about $3,000 in filing/application fees to hire each foreign worker. On top of this there is usually legal fees that for arguments sake equate to $2,000 per person (a very conservative figure with current attorney rates).

So essentially the company has to pay about $5,000 just for the right to hire this highly qualified worker. Now I say right as this is certainly not a guarantee.

In the current US Immigration system there are 85,000 high skill work visas annually for the entire world under the H-1B program. It is made up of 65,000 general visas and and an extra 20,000 visa that people holding a US Masters degree can access as well. In reality the amount is less for the world as a whole as part of the 65,000 is reserved for Chilean and Singaporian citizens as part of Free Trade Agreements.

So in recent years there is a lottery to determine who gets the visas as when applications open on April 1, they have been receiving double the amount of applications on the first day alone. While foreigners holding US Masters degrees to have a better chance, they certainly are not guaranteed.

Additionally even if the applicant and company is successful, the worker is not allowed to begin work until October 1 according to the law.

If the applicant is unsuccessful, the company would have paid on average about $1,500 in applications fees to the government and say $2,000 in legal fees to an immigration attorney's office that can't get back.

So the company either gets delayed work if the application if successful, has to hire lesser qualified people if the applications are unsuccessful and all the while their business is suffering both from extra expenditure and less revenue.

Like I said at the beginning, the company was forced to initially hire 5 people without rating their competency given the excessive cost and start delays of the system.

Does this system seem fair to you?
Can you see the amount of waste?
Do you see the potential for corruption?
Do you see that the only people in the end who truly profit are the Government and the Legal System?

So the people suffering in ths everyday example are the US Company, US worker, International worker and thus the US Economy!
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