Thursday, October 22, 2009

H-1B or Outsourcing?

H-1B is non-immigrant visa in US under the immigration & nationality act that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers that has specialized knowledge needed by US employer. Usually many foreign IT worker that apply for this kind of visa. Discussing about H-1B visa for IT worker there are pros and cons about this policies.

The pro said that hiring H-1B professionals allow U.S companies to maintaining the highest standards of IT work regardless of location. Hiring trained and expertise can reduce cost thousands of dollar and extensive time to train worker to meet their standard. Bill Gates ever said that it's better to have the world's smartest workers developing new technologies here in the US than to work overseas where the benefits of new technologies may come first to overseas firms.

On the other side, H-1B gives ethical issues. First, these overseas professionals will taking jobs that U.S IT workers need. It means more jobless IT worker in US. Secondly, if H-1B professionals hired under unethical companies they can end up with less than they bargained for salary, working hours, duties, etc. H-1B visa holder must have the intent to remain in the U.S. only temporarily, They should ready to return to his/her home country at the end of the authorized employment period.

During economic global crisis, there is slow movement for H-1B visa application. If last years the entire quota for visas for the year, both 20,000 Advanced and the 65,000 quota has been reached on April 8, 2008 but this years until September 18, 2009, approximately only 46,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 20,000 petitions had been filed.

There are two possibilities about this condition. First, US company start to hire US worker than overseas professional. It's good for US worker and government. This will reduce unemployed worker in US. For company, this could be more money and time to invest for training new worker to meet their standard. But, if the US worker already has specialized skill and meet company standard that would no problem, no more cost for training.

Second possibilities is US company choose to outsourcing their project overseas. Company think that outsourcing will cut the cost for salary since many third country has cheap worker. It also reduce facility cost for worker too. But If this happen, there will be more jobless people in US and it's bad for US economy.

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