Last year (2008), Bill Gates had requested U.S. Senators to increase the limit for H-1B visa quota.
More than 160,000 applications were submitted for the 65,000 General Cap and 20,000 for Advanced Degree slots.
The USCIS hasn’t made any announcements yet regarding H-1B visa applications for this year (2009). But there are some proposals and bills that could be introduced to boost the U.S. economy.
Green Cards for H-1B Workers
There is a thread in Immigration Voice about the possibility of granting green cards to current H-1B visa workers, but under following conditions:
- They should buy a home in the U.S. by paying a 20% down payment.
- Should have lived in the US in H-1B visa for 3 years or more.
These proposals will definitely help many non-immigrants in H-1B visa to buy a home and are hesitating to invest in residential real estate. Maybe some 50,000 or more homes can be sold.
More Tax Revenue to U.S.
Another argument is an increase in the number of H-1B visa slots means generating more tax revenues for the federal government.
In the IT industry alone, an entry level software engineer gets paid around $40,000 to $60,000 per year and they pay mandatory income taxes.
So this basically means that increasing the number of H-1B visa quotas will automatically increase tax revenues.
However, this can also be looked at in two different ways. People who have lost jobs in this market are not going to like the idea of increasing the number of H-1B visas.
When you have a family and you just lost your job, only then will you realize how difficult is it to survive. So, that claim is also valid. For someone living from pay check to pay check, life is going to be very hard.
At the same time, people who are applying for H-1B visas, the argument comes from the other direction. But I’m not going to discuss more than the thoughts of 2 different people.
Readers are free to decide and pen down their thoughts. We’d like to hear your comments, questions, and opinions.