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U.S. companies seek alternate ways to obtain tech workers

There are many different types of employers located throughout the nation that would benefit from a change in immigration laws. While a wide variety of industries, including some based in the Miami area, need foreign workers to make their businesses successful, one group in particular appears to be hit particularly hard. This group works in technology. The industry is in dire need for workers with a technical background and individuals born in the United States do not appear to fulfill that need.

Some businesses are able to employ qualified foreign workers via the H-1B process. The cap of 65,000 visas per year however, which is usually quickly reached, limits how many individuals each company can attempt to hire using this method. In addition, the lag in the amount of time a hired individual must wait before he or she can begin to work for the U.S. business, roughly between six months and a year and a half, is not appealing.

In an effort to get the talent needed to keep a business growing, after reaching a certain size, some startups are taking another path. Rather than bringing skilled foreign workers to the U.S., they are going to where the workers are. This is accomplished by setting up remote offices in other countries.

The immigration bill that legislators are currently considering could potentially aid tech businesses looking to hire foreign workers in the U.S., making it easier to hire high skilled workers from other countries who were educated in this country. In the meantime however, it is likely these companies will continue to do what is needed to work with the knowledgeable workers they need, including opening offices overseas.

Source: USA Today, “Silicon Valley not waiting for U.S. immigration reform,” John Shinal, July 4, 2013

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