• A Hypothetical Skill based H1B System for American Innovation: Put Phds and Masters first

    USCIS accepts H1B petitions on the first Working day of April every year for Congress-mandated visa limit of H-1B Regular Cap(65,000),H-1B Masterís Exemption(20,000). The highly controversial H1B system which in place from decades, conducts lottery if the number of petitions exceed the available number of H1B visas. This Lottery system is stopping the highly skilled applicants (Phds, Masters degree applicants) from receiving H1B Visa if their petition is not picked in the random Lottery.

    For the FY 2019 H1B Quota, USCIS received around 190,098 petitions for H1B visa out of which 95,885 are for Advanced Degree exemption category which is capped at 20,000. It means that only 20,000 of the 95,500 petitions will be selected and rest should go through the lottery with the remaining petitions. Those who were not selected should leave the country.

    An alternative system described below will choose the highly skilled first and encourages American innovation to thrive. This system will use the qualification of the applicant for whom the petition is filed.

    Categorize the H1B Petitions

    1) Phds: This category of applicants will have 22-25+ years of total education and involved in cutting edge research with tens of citations. Post Docs will also fall under this group.

    2) Masters + Thesis: 19-20 years of education with substantial research experience with few citations.

    3) Direct Placements with Masters: 16-18 years of total education. Graduates with Masters degree with a job offer which will not place the employee at a place other than the employer location and should not work for 3rd party clients. This would cover graduates of Top US Schools and all top schools all over the world.

    4) Direct Placements with Bachelors: 15-16 years of education. US Companies can choose graduates from allover the world.Again, should not be a 3rd party placement.

    5) Then the Rest

    Does Salary needs to be a Criteria for H1B?

    The categories (1), (2) mentioned above should not be restricted by minimum wage for petition approval. Sometimes, a PhD graduate from top school might be just earning 50-70k, but his potential to contribute to American Innovation is extremely high.

    Chances are high that Categories (3), (4), (5) can be used by the corporate giants to keep the wages low and to replace american workers. So these categories should be restricted by the minimum wage.

    3rd party placements

    Category (1) and (2) should be allowed to work either at employer location or a third party site as it is common for research based jobs. These placements generally will not replace american workers as there is shortage of such labor.
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