Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Entrepreneurs focus on skilled-worker visa reform

Entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley start-ups are having a hard time finding individuals with the right fit, education, and skill level to fill their vacant positions. Software engineers seem to be the biggest problem for these California based companies and they are now taking their concerns to Congress.

In an effort to advocate for skilled-worker visa reform, some California based entrepreneurs are packing their bags and trying their hand at lobbying politicians. Their biggest concern is attempting to guide through legislation that will allow demand rather than quota drive skilled-worker visa (H-1Bs) issuance.

The companies also are seeking reform on visas and green cards for other entrepreneurs and those with higher education degrees focused in science-related fields key to technology advancement. They would also like to see the caps on H-1Bs and green cards exempted for those with advanced degrees from United States institutions.

Many of the start-ups and technology companies argue that they struggle to find adequately trained and skilled staff and that many of the applicants that qualify for the jobs are from overseas. They suggest that it is too time consuming and expensive to sponsor many skilled applicant's visas. Accordingly, this often results in a lack of expansion of the companies and many jobs are lost as a result. Those who disagree say that the companies are just looking for a workaround to the system and don't want to pay fair wages to American workers.

Whether or not skilled-worker immigration reforms are on the minds of those entrepreneurs, it may be a different matter for those within congress. They may require any H-1B visa reform accompany legal immigration reform as well which is a much more difficult task to tackle.

Source: Fox Business, "Entrepreneurs plan D.C. road trip to talk up immigration reform," Sarah McBride, Jan. 24, 2013

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