Do H1-B Visas Make Outsourcing a Bigger Problem?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Cambodian visa. (Daniel Greer/flickr)

A lot of political talk in recent days has focused on outsourcing. Specifically, did Mitt Romney manage Bain Capital while the equity fund was shipping jobs overseas?

For many American companies, outsourcing has become a standard practice because lower cost countries can provide cheaper labor. But America's own immigration system might also be contributing to outsourcing. Reporter Ben Bradford took a look at the H1-B visa for our partner WNYC, and he found that the same companies that often outsource jobs have come to rely heavily on bringing workers into America from other countries at significantly lower pay.


Ben Bradford

Produced by:

John Light

Comments [15]

Jon Leyden from CA.

I know forsure THAT THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL! Because I was one of many

had that same problem way when back in 1977 Carter who had just Killed

the B1B Bomber here in California then I had just been Layed Off from

North American Avation, I found a Job and I was hired into the Northrup

Corp. And when I was hired in they were geting at that same time many

Engineer Job Shoppers coming out of England Paid way under Hourly cost

and would not hire but just a few American just to look good, so there

was this Union called "American Engineers" (Part of the Boeing Plant in

Wash. State that came down to Southern California) They made a Big Spat

over this type of H1B hiring, I know Because I was ONE of the ones who

got Fired by Northrup because As I was Out side on the Side Walk with a

friend holding a Sign on a "BIG WHITE BED SHEET", That Photo was in the

News Paper the Next day!--- Northrup were filing with the INS H1B's

saying that they could not find or get Engineers and then paying off

Companys in England that were filling there request on the B1B

application they summited The same INS papers required to have the

Engineers hired in as Job Shoppers at Northrup, While even better-

qualified” American workers or Collage Students who at that time were

looking for any kind of work, So when they say that this country should

hold steady the number of skilled foreign workers eligible to live and


ONE!, They need to "delete the requirement all togather" and If I may

add that also "Regestered Nurses (RN)" here in the United States also

have this same kind of a problems NOW as most of the Jobs in the

Hospitals are Filled by foreign workers who are paid Lower wages, How

do I know well My my Wifes is one of them and is mad as Hell that this

is even taking place here in the States and all the Hospitals are stll

doing this same thing by for getting there foreign applicants Which

they also do by filling all there request on the B1B applications!! And

well next time your near a Hospital ! Check that Out.
And all the while for Over 33 Years I had been with North American

Avation they had been allways Hiring Many Many College student to work

along side by side with older Engineers or other types of jobs withen

the Company and During the Summer as well as full time and they could

have filled many of the jobs that were taken away by this Underhanded

Northrup Corp.
That Said! I am one of many Many American Citizens favoring a system

that really forces companies to prove they cannot find a qualified

American worker or even a College Grad, before hiring from anywhere

abroad Lets take back American Jobs and keep them here forever!

Write your Congress Rep. We just do not want it ! Now or Ever !!
Vote in the mid-Term and Take back America !
Pass this On

Jun. 28 2013 09:55 PM
Riz Lee from perth

Nice informative post. Valued H1B visa guide

Feb. 20 2013 02:30 PM
Immigration Business Plan from USA

I also want to go foreign. And this information is very beneficial for me. This is good stuff. Immigration Business Plan/

fredric from NY

H1B and L1 visas are corporate welfare programs, which is supported by govt.
Corporates keep saying "There is not enough resource to fill our position". There is a little change to this statement "There is not enough resource to fill our position, with the salary we are offering". H1B do 80 Hr per week, because their hands are tied. Corporates know that. Hence if an H1B's salary is 100K, by working 80 Hrs per week his effective salary become 50K and he takes away job of 2 people , since he is working 80 Hrs a week.
India keeps arguing about free trade agreements.Humans are not commodities.One cannot do cheap H1B slave trade in name of Free Trade.
If H1Bs are "Best And Brightest" and they Create Jobs, why can't they do it in their home country?

Dec. 04 2012 12:06 PM

First of all i'm an H1b worker. I wanted to say that if out sourcing is stopped there wont be products produced in USA for cheaper price, they are now. An average american earning person's salary can be given to 4 people in other countries. The idea comes from an america and its logic is produced outside. The green card given to an outside person should give advanatage to america but its not giving since people who earn would send away their money back home (the major issue), if the govt says you get a green card if you stray here only and invest here only........... then the green card applications would come down. Remove diversity visas as they are occupying ordinary american jobs, with out any talent brought. I dont agree H1b is a fraud. H1bs are being looted with many mid vendors and big big commissions (indian consultancies) ultimately h1b is not enjoying high salary nor usa. Change H1b process and working completely. Without talent of an H1b indian companies would not have developed that much. even indian companies might have survived taking americans in usa without bringing H1b holder.

Nov. 11 2012 10:36 AM

The vast majority of H-1b visas are used to outsource jobs. I should know, I work in the outsourcing industry :(

You wouldn't believe the amount of fraud and abuse in the H-1b program. There are so many ways to scam the system and there is virtually NO oversight.

Jul. 21 2012 01:46 PM

The H1B visa, or other visas, like the OPT, the H4, the L1, the L1B, the B1 visa are an essential component of offshoring. The first process is called Knowledge Transfer (KT) and progresses as follows.

1) An Indian with a prestigious title is put in charge of the IT department.
2) Half of the US STEM workers are laid off. The remaining train workers on a work visa like the H1B visa.
3) Once the workers with work visas are trained, the remaining US workers are canned.
4) The US operations is dismantled.
5) The entire operation moves to India, with all of the jobs, engineers, technicians, electricians, secretaries, etc.

This is the way Mitt Romney and Barack Obama's campaign contributors do it and that is one reason that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama like H1B visas, and are dreaming up new work visas year after year after year.

Jul. 18 2012 06:30 PM
John80224 from Denver

Any program that's brought 2 million-plus into the country is going to have plenty of anecdotal evidence for whatever side you want to promote. But if this program doesn't facilitate offshoring, please explain how three to five of the top ten users are Indian offshore outsourcing companies (and don't tell me because of a headquarters and paperwork that Cognizant doesn't fit in this category) and most of the other top 20 are consultancies and IT companies with huge offshore presence.

Jul. 18 2012 03:47 PM
Dennis from Denver

The LCA form to fill out for an H-1B is the simplest form which is always rubber stamped. There is no proof required that a firm is actually paying the amount they say they are paying on the form. The biggest flaw is that a firm is not required to look for a U.S. worker before exclusively hiring H-1B workers.

Most H-1B workers are hired for ordinary entry level IT jobs.

This program should be scrapped. There is already an O-1 vias for exceptional people from around the world, and there is no limitations on the number. Why is this not enough?

Jul. 18 2012 03:12 PM
Marla from Detroit

The H-1B visa is definately used to replace U.S. workers.

There is no requirement to first seek a U.S. worker before hiring an H-1B worker. The H-1B worker is beholden to the sponsoring company to stay in the U.S. This makes it more attractive to hire an H-1B worker instead of someone who is just as good but is free to leave. It sets up an indentured relationship which is unnatural for the job market.

If a company wants a better qualified worker, they merely have to raise the pay scale.

Jul. 18 2012 03:05 PM
Gino Colangelo from New York City

My company sponsors one H1B visa because we need the particular skill set of the person we sponsor. We actually paid a bit more than market rate for the position due to the visa requirement. I can attest from personal experience that the process is rigorous; we really had to make a solid case for obtaining the H1B for our employee.

Jul. 18 2012 02:58 PM
Kimberly from Summit, NJ

It's not true that the H1B program is necessarily a way to get cheap(er) labor. Please check your facts. My husband was initially here on an H1B visa. He is a specialized cost accountant, and his employer was required by federal law to pay him the same rate they would pay an accountant of the same skill level who was a permanent resident or American citizen.

I feel that the guests you invited for this story really misrepresented the issue.

Jul. 18 2012 02:38 PM
Alessandro Boga from New York

I'm a H1-B holder since March 2011. Native Italian, I was sponsored by Colangelo & Partners PR, based in New York, as Marketing Research Analyst and I still work for the same company. I don't know if H1-B visas are used by those outsourcing companies to bring cheap labor to the US, however, for my experience, my salary is as high as the industry average. For what I've been told and read, a competitive salary is a mandatory requisit in order to get the H1-B visa approval.
Personally I think I didn't kick out any American workers for getting my job position because, due to the company business and Italian base clients, they need somebody with my skills and culture.

Jul. 18 2012 10:06 AM
Nick from Detroit

All H1B Visa must be approved by the DOL (Department of Labor) based on salary level and job description. If this is indeed true then the DOL has been turning a blind eye to H1B apps coming in with salaries that are too low. As an H1B holder myself I find this very hard to beleive. The American immigration system is very complicated, expensive and BROKEN.

Jul. 18 2012 09:15 AM
TF from NYC

Anyone who says outsourcing is bad should look at the label of their shirt and see where it is made. Your buying that shirt is supporting outsourcing of a job that at some point was in the U.S.

Jul. 18 2012 08:43 AM

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