Tech Visas Cooling Off
Mainly used in the software sectors, the H1 visas that used to require a lottery and be consumed within hours of release are no longer in great demand. A maximum of 65,000 H1 visas may be allotted annually. In 2008 the entire allotment of visas was exhausted in a matter of hours. In 2009, however there was a surplus, and demand continues to drop. In 2009, only 45,000 visas were issued, in 2010, 16,500, and in 2011 8,000. There are a variety of reasons for this plummeting demand: The lackluster recovery of US economy means less jobs and less promise for the future employment of a visa applicant. There is a thriving tech boom in many countries and many more opportunities back in China and India, where many visa applicants came from historically. Companies seeking employees needing H-1 visas are reticent to pay the higher visa fees, and are refocusing on recruiting qualified US workers as well as outsourcing R&D and software coding.