H-1B visa program costs IT Pros jobs

H-1B visa program costs IT Pros jobs

H-1B visa program does not help US Nationals — costs jobs and limits development of IT professionals

H-1B visa program — We have just completed a review of the H-1B visa program for both the application process and approved visas.  It is clear from the data that foreign corporations are utilizing the program to undercut the salaries paid to IT professions.  In the process corporations are reducing tier costs and eliminating jobs that should belong to US nationals.

In some cases the jobs remain in the US, but the positions are filled by foreign nationals.  Specifically, offshore outsourcing companies continued to make up the majority of the top H-1B visa applications according to new government data. These offshore firms have been adding employees by the thousands as their revenues increase. Infosys (India based) led the list in 2014 with 23,759  visa applications with a median salary for those positions $72,254, edging out Tata (India based) which had 14,098 visa requestswith a median salary for those positions $66,600.

Both of those salaries were well below the median salary ($81,583 in 2014) for IT postions.  The overall median salary for the top 30 enterprises that filed for H-1B visas was $77,027.

H-1B Visa Program
H-1B Visa Program – Top 30 applications by company

The impacts of the H-1B program as it is implemented today are:

  1. Overall costs of IT are being reduced as lower salaries are are paid.
  2. Companies are encouraged to hire offshore IT Pros at wages that are lower than those paid to US nationals.
  3. Entry level positions are being eliminated which would provide the experience to US nationals so they could proceed in the IT career path.
  4. Dependence on foreign based companies will limit the flexibility of US corporations to change their infrastructure as technology advance.
  5. Risks due to a changing international political climate.  For example, when the “Arab spring” took effect in Egypt, companies that were depending on those “off-shored” operations had few alternatives they could use as data centers were closed.  Costs and risks to move the operations chewed up most if not all of the savings that were projected.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.