Sorting Through the H-1B Visa Debate


Sorting Through the H-1B Visa Debate

No matter what side of the H-1B visa debate you’re on, hiring talent from outside the U.S. requires the kind of Global Screening expertise you will find at ClearStar.

The H-1B visa started like a lot of other ideas — with all the best intentions.

In the 1990s, companies — especially tech companies — on the hunt for skilled workers needed to expand their search and do it quickly. Lawmakers in the 101st Congress offered to help, and the H-1B visa was born.

Generally speaking, the H-1B visa allows American companies to hire foreign workers for specialty jobs. Guidelines say workers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree (or some equivalent). And the intent? To only import workers for jobs the companies couldn’t fill with American labor.

Sounds fairly straight forward, right?

Plans for the H-1B visa may have started simply and, according to many companies, may still be mission critical when it comes to filling jobs. But lately, the focus has been less on the law and more on its loopholes.

Critics complain these loopholes allow companies to outsource services, replace more expensive, older workers with cheaper, foreign workers. They say the visa’s original idea of importing the “best and brightest” has fallen mostly by the wayside.

It’s a story that’s made headlines for a while.

In 2015, Disney made news when they announced layoffs, asking employees to train their foreign replacements. Other companies grabbed similar headlines. And while the issues have piled up, so have the demands for H-1B visas.

But there’s a chance reforms may be on the horizon.

The situation grabbed the attention of lawmakers on both sides of aisle and promises to be an issue of ongoing debate. This spring, President Trump signed an executive order charging federal departments to review the program and recommend changes. And while some steps have been taken to stop abuse of the visas, an overhaul of the system hasn’t been launched.

Is there a better way to support American jobs and assist companies who rely on the H-1B visa for high-tech help? It looks like it will take time — and Congress — to answer to that.

Whether you’re looking to hire inside or outside the U.S., rely on ClearStar Global Screening Experts. Contact us today!


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