DHS Declares H-1B State Of Emergency; Allows Foreign Students To Stick Around Longer

from the better-than-kicking-them-out dept

theodp writes “Deeming the possible loss of foreign grads with technical bachelor’s degrees a serious threat to the U.S. requiring immediate action on its part, the Department of Homeland Security changed immigration rules without notice or comment Friday to allow foreign students to stay on to work in the States for two-and-a-half years after graduation without needing an H-1B visa.”

To clarify a bit, DHS has basically realized that the H-1B visas were quickly used up almost immediately again, and that would cause problems for students who have been here on F-1 student visas, and have recently received jobs in the US. DHS’s extension here makes a lot of sense. It only applies to students who recently graduated with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (i.e., skilled individuals) who are employed by companies that already review the eligibility of employees electronically with the DHS. Since it’s become increasingly difficult to get an H-1B visa, these recent skilled college grads would lose their jobs and get sent out of the country. That wouldn’t do anyone any good. It would hurt US companies by forcing them to lose recently hired skilled employees, and it would hurt US competitiveness by having those same students return to their home countries, where they’re more likely to work for foreign companies competing against US companies.

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Comments on “DHS Declares H-1B State Of Emergency; Allows Foreign Students To Stick Around Longer”

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Kilgore Trout says:

Oh snap

It would hurt US companies by forcing them to lose recently hired skilled employees, and it would hurt US competitiveness by having those same students return to their home countries, where they’re more likely to work for foreign companies competing against US companies.

It would also hurt US companies by forcing them to pay industry standard wages.

In Soviet Russia, the government controls the commerce!!

TheDock22 says:

Finally a Good Idea from DHS

I think this is a great idea! I have seen way to many qualified people being sent home because of the H1-B visa issues. This will at least give companies 2 years to assess and keep the good college grads while not wasting time with unqualified individuals. I can eventually see more H1-B visas going to these grads then trying to recruit directly from another country.

the shadow says:

euphemistic pap from a profit-centric democracy

More than half of the software engineers for my company are foreigners working for lower wages than their american counter parts. Most of these legal immigrants are nice people but I want today’s american college graduates filling these positions. We are underestimating the impact of continuing to educate and employ our global competitors.

Anony says:

Re: US Citizens should move to another country and get hired

That’s great if you want to work for half the wages you’ll get in the states.

I have no issues with immigrants playing by the rules and signing all the right papers to come to the states. Illegal immigrants with no skills hopping the border to “do the jobs Americans won’t do [for crappy wages]” and use up resources they don’t pay for are the problem.

Looking.... says:

So where are these hoardes of qualified US workers anyway? Nobody I know in Columbus Ohio can find them, at any price. Most companies I know have no choice but to turn to H1’s or other means to get anything done. If you can find an American they aren’t in Columbus and want all kinds of moving perks etc. and then maybe still flake out and don’t show.

Gryphon (profile) says:

re: Looking

Columbus has always been about banking and insurance. But when the tech industries that were there dropped their major presence, wages for that type of position dropped. No real reason to keep wages high anymore when you aren’t competing with an established, 100,000 employee industry anymore. When your major employer is Wal-Mart and Teleperfomance, why pay much more than they do? And yes, I’ve actually been offered engineering positions that paid less than Teleperformance.

Almost all the tech people I know of have left the city for greener pastures. Why stick around when companies are trolling for engineers, but only want to pay 32k a year? As a native Columbus resident, it saddens me to think that I’m going to be leaving my beloved city behind for my next job. But hey, I can’t live on $14 an hour when my non-negotiable expenses are double what they were 10 years ago.

José Luis (profile) says:


What DHS is doing makes a lot of sense! There is a lot of information around about tech-skilled people shortage (not just in the USA, but in many places of the world).

It’s also false that salaries are going down and in general (but specially in the US) people does not apply to tech careers, and among people, women are much less prone to tech careers.


As i said, the shortage affects the whole world, but i admit that i’m in programming. Demand for software has increased a lot in the last decade, while at the same time less people goes into tech careers (that should rise salaries as there is much more demand than offer).

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


This is the one topic I find myself torn on.
I halfway agree with Mike. Having the skilled workers here rather than elsewhere is good. However, I also think that the US education system is broken. We should be giving local students the full ride scholarships (and I am not talking about just those in sports or the 4.0’s) and let the foreigners pay. The university I went to only gave full rides to the sports players and non-america born people. Why does our own government seem to care so little about making us better? I just don’t get it.

It is better indeed to have skilled workers here, but what is wrong with us training our own people to be those skilled workers?

I know that there are companies who abuse the system, and that the system should not be judged based on them. But of course those are the ones you always hear about.

I live in Michigan, and the state has been going downhill for the past, I don’t know, 7 or so years?
Talking on the tek-tips forum we have a sub forum for tech people in Michigan. Right there is one guy who is 33, good varied skills, and he can NOT get a job. He has his profile up many places, and has applied to many jobs yet can’t seem to get in.

I think our reluctance to move places helps create the problem. When people like Bill Gates and others are saying there is a shortage, I am much less likely to believe them. Now, if they said there is a shortage just where we are at, and we won’t pay them to move here, and they won’t move here on their own. Well, than I would be more likely to believe them. It is just hard to trust them when I know people looking for a new job.

Kevin Hulse says:

Just say no to 2nd class laborers.

If things are really that dire, the INS (formerly DHS)
can just start handing out green cards. Either the need
is worth treating the talent equal to American citizens
or the need really isn’t all that great to begin with.

It’s a good idea to let graduates of American colleges
stay in the country to work. They should not become some
corporation’s indentured servant in the process.

If they’re important enough to import, assimilate them.

Berkeley says:

outrageous extralegal backdoor immigration

It appears any government agency can now maneuver around the immigration laws. Congress won’t raise the H1-B cap, so DHS creates a defacto 3-year visa.

There are 1 million foreign students in the US each year, and none of them study literature, sociology or sports management. Our public universities are becoming tax-supported immigration waystations that diminish the value of a college education by flooding the markets, lowering salaries and diminishing opportunities of US citizens.

65000 H1-B + 450,000 L1 visas + now unlimited H1-B waivers = no tech careers for US citizens.

Alexio says:

Re: outrageous extralegal backdoor immigration

You’re right: “literature, sociology or sports management” are the areas reserved for native US students. No competition there.

Thank US school system for making American students:
a) Clueless of the real world trends;
b) Scientifically/technically incompetent (beyond playing PlayStation)

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