Re: Tech Visas

Joachim Feise (
Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:20:47 -0700


you asked for it ;)

Alien labor certification programs are generally designed to assure that the
admission of aliens to work in this country on a permanent or temporary basis
will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages and working conditions of
U.S. workers. With few exceptions, these five programs are jointly administered
by the Department and the State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs). A synopsis
of each of the programs follows. Follow the links to access the regulations
which govern each program.

Permanent Labor Certification
An alien seeking to immigrate to the United States on the basis of employment
must obtain an offer of permanent full-time employment from an employer in the
United States. The alien cannot be admitted as a permanent resident unless,
among other things, the employer obtains a labor certification from the
Department that qualified U.S. workers are not available for the employment
offered to the alien, and that the wages and working conditions offered will not
adversely affect those of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The labor certification process requires the employer to recruit U.S. workers at
prevailing wages and working conditions through the State Employment Service, by
advertising, posting notice of the job opportunity, and by other appropriate
means. A Departmental regional certifying officer makes a decision to grant or
deny the labor certification based on the results of the employer's recruitment
efforts and compliance with Departmental regulations. In FY `95, 32,509 new
applications were received. In FY `96, 40,401 new applications were received. In
FY `95, the occupations with the most approvals were: cook, specialty, foreign
food (10.0%); software engineer (8.5%); programmer analyst (4.8%); faculty
member, college or university (3.4%); systems analyst (2.6%); and cook (1.65%).
Occupational data for FY `96 are not yet available.
H-1B Specialty (Professional) Workers
Employers who intend to employ alien workers for a temporary period in
professional occupations or as fashion models must file labor condition
applications with the Department stating that they will pay the appropriate wage
rate to the alien, that they have notified the bargaining representative or
otherwise posted notice of their intent to employ alien workers, and that there
is no strike or lockout at the place of employment. Aggrieved parties may file
complaints with the Department regarding misrepresentation or failure to comply
with the statements attested to in the application.

Where the complaint is successful, the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment
Standards Administration may assess penalties and the employer may be barred
from filing petitions for permanent and temporary workers for at least 1 year.
Labor condition applications may be approved for periods of up to 3 years,
renewable for a total of 6 years, the maximum allowable period of stay in the
U.S. under H-1B status.
The statute limits the number of aliens that may be admitted to the U.S. on H-1B
visas to 65,000 per year. In FY `95, 116,502 labor condition applications were
received, covering 312,563 job openings. In FY `95, the occupations with the
most approvals were: therapists (53.5%); computer-related occupations (25.6%);
college and university faculty (2.1%); physicians and surgeons (1.8%); and
auditors/accountants (1.5%). In FY `96, 138,306 labor condition applications
were received. Occupational data and number of job openings certified in FY `96
are not yet available.


Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Hi Joe!
> I'm not going to deconstruct your argument, but...
> > That's BS. Being here on an H1-B visa,
> > I think I know more about this than you.
> I am assuming you mean because you have one of these
> Visas you've read more about the subject because it pertains
> directly to your life. I think I know more about this than
> you as a lifelong technology geek and 3rd generation Californian, I've
> been following California issues and in particular California
> technology issues for several years now, so we can call this one even.
> > Employers are required to pay the "prevailing wage" as defined by the DoL.
> What sort of thinking is this? What sort of capitalist are
> you, Joe? 8-) You don't believe in supply and demand? Free
> market economies? Show me the requirement!
> The DoL tracks wages, they don't set them other than internal
> to government hiring and minimum wage. This bill is doubly
> bad because not only does it increase the number tech skilled
> workers, it give the DoL more authority to control and regulate
> the high-tech industry. That's one sure way to kill it, the
> tech industry and the innovation in general.
> Also, how do you (does one) determine the "prevailing
> wage" in the tech industry? Hell, I track tech wages too,
> that doesn't mean I can set them. At most I can set my
> own wage. According to the 1998 Salary survey, an Internet
> Project Manager in Orange County is worth $86.4k. Averaged
> across the whole technology coast, the bottom 20% make $60k,
> the median is $70.0, and the top 20% is $80.2k.
> I am an arrogant bastard and of course consider
> myself in the top 3% of all Internet Project Managers, so show
> me where the DoL says that any company I work for has to pay
> me over $100k+/year and I will show you a prime example
> of intrusive government meddling.
> Greg
> > No
> > way they can undercut wages. If they did, the competition would be happy to
> > report them to the DoL.
> >
> > -JoeF
> > --
> > Joachim Feise Ph.D. Student, Information & Computer Science
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Lest you think that "open" computing can't possibly win, just look
> > back at the primal lesson of desktop computing of the '80s: Open up
> > your architecture to all comers and win -- or keep it closed, like
> > the Macintosh, and lose.