According to KPBS, A bill to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border could be a mixed blessing for San Diego. That’s because paying for more for border security will require a hike in H1B visas.
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker can apply for a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or must leave the US.
The regulations define a “specialty occupation” as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, biotechnology, medicine and health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts, and requiring the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as a minimum (with the exception of fashion models, who must be “of distinguished merit and ability”.) Likewise, the foreign worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and state licensure, if required to practice in that field.
Duane Roth, CEO of the biotech support group Connect, said that could make it more difficult for San Diego businesses to hire qualified workers. He said higher costs for H1B visas may also encourage more companies to outsource.
“A company may consider whether it’s better to open a facility in a foreign country and hire the workers that are already there, versus the ability to bring some here to fill the opening jobs,” said Roth.
He said the U.S. education system is not producing enough scientists and engineers to staff high-tech companies in San Diego.
I feel that another H1B fee hike will be a death blow to the possibility of retaining talented workers in the US and for small US companies to expand business.
Read the KPBS article here