Average H-1B Salary: How Does It Compare to Yours?

As promised, the Trump administration has begun revealing the names of contractors that utilize H-1B workers. In addition, a new Department of Labor dataset gives us some granular insight into the average H-1B salary.

This is a very big deal. Although the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hosts an interactive H-1B Employer Data Hub that makes it easy for anyone to look up which employers are relying on foreign workers with specialized knowledge, it’s been much harder to determine if and where those companies are sending their H-1B workers as subcontractors, much less the average H-1B salary for particular roles.

That’s all changed, thanks to some new tweaks to how the government reports data (big hat tip to Laura Francis and Bloomberg Law for first noticing this). If you’re interested, you can now head over to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website and download a massive (over 100MB!) dataset of H-1B data for fiscal year 2019 (it’s under the ‘Disclosure data’ tab). Not only does this spreadsheet contain a detailed breakdown of over 412,425 H-1B cases, but it also reveals the “secondary entities” where primary employers might send H-1B workers, along with average H-1B salary for, well, pretty much everybody. (There’s also an extremely granular listing of which zip codes have the most H-1B applications, and we bet you won’t guess the top city on that list.)

For example, Amazon isn’t just a primary employer of H-1B workers (with 5,558 cases currently listed on this disclosure); it also contracts out H-1B workers from other firms (93 cases).

This latest disclosure system has been in the works since late 2018, when the Department of Labor announced that it would require all employers applying for H-1B visas to name companies where H-1B workers might end up as contractors. Specifically, DOL’s Form ETA-9035 & 9035E (PDF) asks that employers cite whether workers “will be placed with a secondary entity at this place of employment.” If the answer is “yes,” the employer must provide the legal business name of the “secondary entity,” along with the wage rate it pays nonimmigrant workers, and the prevailing wage rate.

At the time, some employers (and the attorneys who help shepherd H-1B applicants through the system) took serious issue with the Trump administration’s move. “This revision to the labor condition application is nothing more than an attempt to discourage contracting out for services by U.S. companies whose contractors employ H-1B professionals,” Vic Goel, managing partner of Goel & Anderson, an immigration law firm, told Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson in an interview.

Based on this new disclosure form, it’s clear that a variety of major companies rely on H-1B subcontracting, including Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Cisco, Bank of America, Verizon, Sprint, Domino’s Pizza, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Citigroup, and dozens of others. In theory, those companies might worry that this new type of disclosure will result in bad publicity; but many already utilize H-1B workers as primary employers, so it’s hard to picture why there might be additional blowback.

Average H-1B Salary, 2019 Edition

The sheet also contains another interesting tidbit of information: How much H-1B workers are paid. Although paychecks vary wildly from company to company, the average salary (based on the entirety of this dataset) is $89,779.

For context, the average tech salary is $93,244, according to the most recent Dice Salary Survey.  So in theory, many H-1B workers are making less than the average (although many are obviously making quite a bit more—the dataset contains thousands of six-figure salaries, especially for software developers and other roles that demand higher-level skills).

In the meantime, the Trump administration plans on cracking down further on work-based immigration, with USCIS reportedly asking companies about the type of work H-1B visa recipients will be doing, right down to vendor agreements and a list of projects a visa holder is expected to work on. These particular requests for evidence (RFEs) are leading the government to deny companies the standard three-year greenlight for H-1B visas, instead limiting some visas to a two-year term.

111 Responses to “Average H-1B Salary: How Does It Compare to Yours?”

    • While we’re all damning the H1b program as we absolutely should, don’t forget about the immigration attorneys!! They’re laughing all the way to the bank!!

      Indian companies AND American companies pay them massively. It’s not only the H1b program that has to stop, it’s also the L1 visa that’s being abused and probably other visa programs.

      The immigration law firms are raking it in!! Don’t dare put blinders on to them. They can likely be giant sh-t disturbers.

      They see all this bickering going on yet they’re behind the scenes working away to backdoor nuances in the law, but also simply using the rule of law until it changes. When it changes, they’ll find other ways.

      Take lobbyists. They’re backed by millions of dollars!!

      So, between special interest groups, lobbyists, immigration attorneys, big Indian firms, big US firms, etc., how can we stop it??

      Well, Americans need US news media to seize on this so it comes under public scrutiny. But that, in and of itself, won’t do it. It needs to be hammered and be repetitive and be put in the court of public opinion. Then, it will need to continually policed to make sure the big $$ doesn’t sneak into politicians pockets!!!

      It’s either all that I’ve mentioned, or just stop the H1b now!! Period. End of story.

      • itworker

        I agree.
        While we’re all damning the H1b program as we absolutely should, don’t forget about the immigration attorneys!! They’re laughing all the way to the bank!!

        Indian companies AND American companies pay them massively. It’s not only the H1b program that has to stop, it’s also the L1 visa that’s being abused and probably other visa programs.

        The immigration law firms are raking it in!! Don’t dare put blinders on to them. They can likely be giant sh-t disturbers.

        They see all this bickering going on yet they’re behind the scenes working away to backdoor nuances in the law, but also simply using the rule of law until it changes. When it changes, they’ll find other ways.

        Remember, all of the automation is coming. DO NOT NEED ALL OF THESE H1B WORKERS

        Just stop the H1b FOR now!! Period. End of story.

        • Did you think who is behind that automation ? its H1B employees who do that Machine learning automation so at the end of the day they need them to maintain those systems but fuck you guys from other jobs that you are capable of doing. To train on technologies it is not that simple it needs some IQ and maths knowledge

  1. So much for the supposedly “high skilled indeans tech”….if they are so high skilled why are they paid so few. Maybe no so high skilled as they claim. The most alarming thing is that this “mid skilled” people then overflow the green card systhem and complain about delays… and demand law changes that only favor them and that jeopardize the chances for other really high skilled immigrants.

      • Demosthenes

        By why should they? No one who is a fresh grad is highly skilled. All entry level jobs should go to those in the US. Visas should be reserved for harder to fill roles. And believe me, there are plenty of US workers to fill the entry roles.

        • To me the typical Indian Software Engineering applying for an H1-B got a Bachelors in India, then got a Master in the US with F-1, then worked for 3 years with an OPT visa, and then get a 6 years H1-B.

          So there are high skills for sure (which doesn’t mean they are geniuses) but with 3 open positions for 1 candidate in the current market, US citizen can definitely not fill all the positions. On top of that, US citizen usually only have a Bachelors, are not that good, believe they are entitled to a very high salary and will be leaving the company after two years…

          • OPT – there’s another scam.

            OPT amounts to the government offering a $30,000 incentive to employers for hiring a foreign student instead of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. This bonus takes the form of the employer being exempt from paying payroll tax for their foreign student workers (due to their student status, which they technically still have under OPT in spite of having graduated). Why hire Americans, eh?

            Since this tax exemption from payroll tax was pointed out in a lawsuit against DHS, and has been one of the major points raised by critics, DHS is well aware of it. Yet they refuse to address it or even acknowledge it.

            In contrast to DHS previous statements, in which they openly admitted that they intend OPT as an end-run around the H-1B cap, they now describe OPT in warm and fuzzy terms of “mentoring” (putting the “T” back into OPT). That raises several questions:

            If the U.S. indeed “needs” the foreign students to remedy a STEM labor shortage, why do these students need training? The DHS/industry narrative is that the U.S. lacks sufficient workers with STEM training, while the foreign workers are supposedly already trained. And, if workers with such training are indeed needed, why won’t these special mentoring programs be open to Americans? Why just offer them to foreign students? Since DHS admitted that its motivation in OPT is to circumvent the H-1B cap, does that mean that if the cap were high enough to accommodate everyone, these same foreign students wouldn’t need training after all?

          • Jeffrey Davis

            BS. The only thing the greedmongers at America’s multi-national corps get from these H1B visa workers is low salaries, outrageous hours, no workplace rights or protections, unquestioned obedience……..

          • J. Claghye

            Not necessarily true. I have a Bachelors in Business Administration (BS); MBA with specialization IT Management; Ph.D. in Organization and Management with specialization IT Management and 20+ years, yet these Indians with H1B Visa did not hesitate to bully, malign and use other dastardly tactics including vicious lies to force people out of their positions while trying to get the knowledge and skills they need yo do the work.

        • They go to whoever applies. We just had a guy brought over by IBM after having filed dozens of complaints about his work (or lack thereof) over the past 5 years. He’s not qualified, I’ve never seen him write code that would pass muster in any American company and could never pass a US interview. But hey, he makes money for IBM, so f$_& me, right?

  2. Hopefully we can get rid of this h1b fiasco. Every year 66000 IT jobs go to 5 indian companies and at 3 yr mim, one is looking at over 200000 jobs usa graduates will lose to cheap indian companies. Its all about cheap labor. If u wanna hire H1B, then dont sell it to US citizens.. Sell it to India.. My college loan was over 60k.. I bet indian devoeprs didnt pay 60k in college loans to get a job here. F.* K infosys, tata and cognizant..

      • That is not really true. IT workers over 40 face ageism. Once you reach a certain age, almost every interview feedback reads: overqualified.

        Code for management is insecure hiring someone as old as they are.

        • Raul Moreno

          I agree 100% with you, in addition to the head hunter companies almost entirely like Infosys, Tata, etc., they mostly have Indian’s and as one Indian once told me, he only hires Indian.
          In addition to the other difference as I have lived, these workers commonly live in an one bedroom apartment where they reside 4 or more with a single car, so they accept a really low rate because the expenses are shared.

      • @sfguy – “If you have an IT degree and are still unemployed then you are not very good….” You are not well informed. I am seeing first hand where a former H1b has gotten into a management position and is systematically culling the older US workers and ONLY interviewing and hiring H1b workers. This is not legal, but it is happening. And, from what I have read, this is not an isolated case.

      • My Son graduated from a reputable school with a degree in Computer Science. He got a job before he graduated because his sister’s bf a software engineer helped him. But his classmates who are as good as my son if not better, can not find a job for an average of two years. Most of them were taking unrelated jobs in order to get a job. Can you all see this disparity? Why an American citizens are having difficulties of starting or finding a job in America? Many Americans are suffering because of business and immigration law firms greed. Why there are so many homeless people in America and people taking UI until now? Why are there many Americans with no health insurance? It’s all due to many companies, law firms, universities, and hospitals who are hiring foreign workers for lower salaries. Stop the flow of drugs, lower the tuition fees, stop bringing in foreign workers and launch programs for American citizens that will take over jobs in America. Don’t tell me that Americans are dumb and lazy while foreign workers are intelligent and hard workers because America won many wars fought by Americans using technologies built by Americans. Today, American products have lower qualities as compared to most competitive countries because our American products are designed and built by mostly foreign workers.

    • RandomInternetDude

      If you have an IT degree and can’t seem to find a job in this market, you will never find a job. Companies don’t want to hire H1B candidates due to the immigration/legal nightmare and I find so many options open for local candidates. Also, there is a minimum wage which needs to be met in-order to maintain a H1B status. So Stop blaming Indians are taking your jobs and get off your ass to learn something useful.

      • Also, there are not many IT folks(read coders) available between the ages of 22 and 35. in certain cases between 35 and 40 may be okay but If you are over 40 definitely you are doomed, companies won’t take you citing culture-misfit a glorified term for being too old. You don’t have to be genius, you just have to be smart. There is a lot of code base available on the internet – Github, Stack overflow. You just need to google. I have survived by cut N paste code modify to my need for several years. Indian guys will work for 20% less salary than a perm resident. Most guys share Apartment, houses, cook at home, carpool to keep the cost low. With the tech boom in the next 10 years, I can only see H1 numbers going up. A lot of companies are lobbying for the increase.
        if the govt really wants to do something for their people, here is what they should do – IT courses should be vocational training and available for free to all citizens. State Colleges should be free, more subsidized learning programs should be available. Being a capitalist society this is not going to happen. Big Rich Tech companies could easily do that, they are sitting on a cash pile of billions of dollar. Will they do it? Most likely not, the easiest way is to import people from outside. So stop complaining and get used to it.

      • Roxana L Saap

        I found myself in a company that the majority of their employees were on H1 B visas.
        Only few of us were citizens or residents of the US. Every year they had RIFs including this year. The ones laid of were very well qualified employees over 45 year old and Americans or residents. These people were at higher salary rates versus their H1 B visa counterparts. When it comes to the chopping block we Americans don’t stand a chance even when better qualified and more seniority.

    • Wayne boswell

      H1-B needs to be stopped. It’s a scam to bring in Parents, Grandparents, Brothers, Sisters, their family and then get nursing care, Medicaid FREE, We lose.

      Please stop this hell hole.

      We won’t have any funds for SS for us.

      • Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. H1B folks can only bring their spouse and kids as dependents if any. Their parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters can’t just walk in waving their hands. And get this through your easy baked oven head, the H1Bs and the dependents dont get SS , Medicare or any other benefits even though they contribute to it. So stop whining. Looks like you are one of those clueless Trump supporters talking shit way above their skill level.

    • I have two degrees in IT and work at level one helpdesk. There isn’t an IT shortage there is a good number of americans that are not aware that most it jobs are now through contracting agencies. I started working in the helpdesk with people that dont have a degree, certs, or experience. The role I would like is in infosec where they hired a person with a bachelors in education. This is the real world. We dont need H1B we need companies that are hiring competent and educated employees.

    • If you think that’s bad, wait until everything gets into the cloud! Then they’ll be able to manage everything but network connectivity from India… They won’t even need to be on site for servers!

    • and guess what Indians companies help each other’s and help Indians workers to get them jobs . They bring Indians workers who didn’t pay for their education and we all here overwhelmed with school loans that need to be paid

  3. systemBuilder

    This year it’s impossible to get into a good university for a computer science degree, why? Because the programs haven’t been expanded why? Because there just isn’t demand for domestic computer scientists, not enough demand, why? Employers would rather buy cheapo foreign slaves to write software, they like them better than investing in new departments and expansions in the USA. They don’t want to give a nickel to train kids in the USA! Shame on these greedy employers, starving talented young americans of an eduction!

    • checkyourfacts

      Your right they have not been expanded but your facts are wrong.
      unfortunately, if you have STEM PHD, you will make more money working for google, facebook, etc than teaching at a university. So why would any one teach?

    • I went to an American college, CS major: one of the most demanding majors on campus, if not THE toughest. My class is so small that there were only 8, 9 students (given it was also a small but great school), two of them were international students. Yes, there are some REALLY brilliant American students, whereas international students are not just smart, but also so diligent.

      When I usually walked out of the lab at 2, 3 am in the morning and got back to dorm. The many other American students (other non-CS majors, history, political science, to name a couple), were ALWAYS drunk after partying…maybe smoking pot as well. Sure, good for them if getting laid.

      Before you call any foreigners cheap or slaves, ask yourself, if you are a paying boss, who would you want to hire? And ask your kids, who is taking huge student loan, what exactly are they doing and learning at college?

      And, should this country have a future, who is more likely to build a better one for her?

      -All of the students, American or international got a decent job offer well before graduation. The partying kids? Not so much at best.

      Don’t blame others when your college kids cannot get something like this right: 8÷2(2+2)
      Let alone CS program, nor its expansion.

  4. “So in theory, many H-1B workers are making less than the average…”

    In theory? The underpayment of H-1Bs is well-established fact, not rumor, anecdote or ideology. It has been confirmed by two congressionally-commissioned reports, and a number of academic studies, in both statistical and qualitative analyses.

    An employer survey conducted by the GAO (GAO, 2003) found that some employers readily admitted to paying H-1Bs less than comparable Americans, but noted that they were nevertheless paying the legally required wage (i.e., the “prevailing wage”), thereby illustrating that the latter is indeed below the market wage.

    The GAO found that, “some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.”[1]

    This jibes with a previous employer survey[2], commissioned by Congress, that found, “…H-1B workers in jobs requiring lower levels of IT skill received lower wages, less senior job titles, smaller signing bonuses, and smaller pay and compensation increases than would be typical for the work they actually did.”

    So two employer surveys, one by the government and the other commissioned by the government, had employers actually admitting to underpaying their H-1Bs. And the GAO shows that the employers admit that the prevailing wage, the legal wage floor for H-1Bs, is a joke. The data in the paper shows the underpayment statistically as well.

    [1] H-1B Foreign Workers: Better Tracking Needed to Help Determine H-1B Program’s Effects on U.S. Workforce
    GAO-03-883, US General Accounting Office, Sept. 2003

    [2] Building a Workforce for the Information Economy.
    National Research Council. 2001.

    • Sorry, you are wrong, but it’s not your fault.

      You can’t compare hard data from USCIS with a salary survey.

      This is a methodology mistake from Dice.com, hope they state that the data cannot be compared that lightly.

  5. If US wants to bring H1B fine but they should keep a cap on H1B by country. No country should be awarded more than 2000 H1B a year. This will diversify the field, bring other countries in the pool and Indians will be less scrutinized. Most H1B visas applicants by these indian outsourcing companies have fake resumes with exception of few. If they were to bring highly skilled workers they cannot make money so what they do they train them how to make resume stand out without any experience.

    • If I owned a company I will need an army of highly tech skill people at very cheap rates so that my software can complete globally. Rate is all decided by demand and supply.

    • seeARacist callIt

      @bowbowman, do you think skin color also matters? because to me it seems if the market needs 5000 java developers, it doesn’t matter if they all come from one country or 150 different countries or just the island of Java 🙂 They are getting hired for that skill, everything else is moot.

  6. Michael T Emmons

    Now open the can of worms in OPT (bigger than H-1b) L-1b, H4EAD and CPT.

    Under OPT corps save an immediate 15% since neither the corp or OPT worker pay social security or medicaid tax. It is an absolutely unfair advantage against young Americans.

  7. Here’s my take as an International currently here on H1b.

    The average H1b beneficiary who has a bachelors in India plus 2 years of exp and then a masters in the USA is highly skilled and get the cream layers tech jobs. whereas there are a lot of consultancies(IBM, Infosys, TCS, etc) who send a lot of Indians on h1b directly only have a bachelors and they may or may not be that good. These guys are offered very low salaries which takes down the average. And not denying that there is a misuse of h1b happening(mainly due to lottery instead of merit). But it is also wrong to say that Indians on h1b are stealing jobs and are not highly skilled.

    US citizens on the other side only have a diploma or a bachelors degree and want a very high pay given the skills they bring in are not high always. Although I know there are a lot US citizens who are better than the H1bs but that number is not the high. Also their average tenure is less than 2 years. Hence, a company won’t mind an h1b over them.

    What could solve this problem? Merit based H1bs – definitely!!

    • Citizenguy

      Well said h1bguy! I went thru h1b->Green card->Citizen and living in this great country for 25+ yrs.. In early 90s, the quality of h1bs was good. Since Y2K and internet explosion, the demand for tech professionals went so high, even if ur less than average, getting nice gigs! Indian companies definitely took advantage and dumping less qualified h1bs, now L-1s created this image that all h1bs r no good, cheap labor etc.,

      This is demand/supply game, unfortunately not many local kids going into CS or IT related courses. I beg my local friends to guide their kids into taking high tech related courses as there are ton of jobs to be filled in.. Instead most leave it to the kids who end up choosing going into arts, history, marketing etc., nothing against those courses but there are n’t many high paying jobs there. Parents must guide kids in teens, explain how their future will be better when you start $80k right out of graduation. Please don’t say money is not everything, one should do whatever they like etc., Passion alone not going to pay bills, common sense guys.. Get the local kids into tech courses, fill up the demand then companies don’t need to depend on h1bs, l1s etc.,

      Bottom line: Huge demand and talent gap in tech industry, local kids need their realize this and get into IT courses.

  8. Interesting post and very informative information from all. OPT is the starting point … low cost universities with easy Masters, option for 1 year quick masters (1 year in their country with affiliated/partner set up university), then 1-2 month training with consulting companies then projects, projects with everyday support online/offline. now demands for faster green cards and increase the number probably because US is short of these brains.
    There is another one in the system..L1A. Salary starts from $65K+. Manage off shore team and here, projecting his skills and company making US economy grow and system offering green card within 2yrs. Spouses can work on EAD. Birth right citizenship for kids.
    How simple to get a great living. Is it possible without local (system)’ help?.

    • This data is for all H1bs . Not just tech H1bs.If you look at the raw data it also includes physicians/surgeons, CEOs etc. Some of them are very well paid. This skews the data.
      So the average tech H1b can still be in the $70k range. Unless one does a thorough analysis, once can’t be sure.

  9. Actually this has changed with the Trump administration. USCIS now says that the minimum salary for an Engineer in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area is $90K, up from $65K. This means that most of the H1-B abuse will end.

  10. I worked for the US corporate office of a sub of an international financial business – it’s sole product, H1B ‘contractors’ filling thousands of East Coast jobs (nationwide, but my audit covered six states there). I audited these employees’ expense records and was stunned to find out that, in addition to salary, there were living allowances, meal credits, home phone/internet/TV were subsidized. In addition, local employees I knew shared rooms (including sleeping on the floor), rides, food, etc. and split the windfall from reimbursement. Technical/management workers also had reimbursement of expenses in their home country, including ‘house sitting’ (always a relative paid to do so); animal boarding; vehicle storage; and more. In addition, for certain workers who brought their families with them, certain family expenses were also reimbursed. All of this, in addition to the contractors’ higher than local temp workers salaries for the same jobs. Most of the jobs in my audit were in hospitals/medical environments and office jobs. None were ‘critical skills’. If a worker were hired by the client, my employer also was paid a hefty fee. It’s not difficult to see who wins, who loses here.

  11. I have seen in Tampa, FL the h-1b make more than the local workers. They are suppose to be full time while most I see are on endless smoke and coffee breaks. If I took as many breaks as they do I would be fired in a day. You ask HR about the salary they are paid and they always tell you oh we only pay them $20 or 30K. While some have told me they make $100k. We started to bring this up after seeing them drive new bmw’s and Mercedes to work. Several of them asked me if I knew a contractor to work for cheap because they were buying rental homes that needed work. Something is not right with these h-1b program.

  12. Some are skilled, most are not.

    Depends on the company, but the “high tech” Indians are paid more than the American counterparts, even if the Americans are more skilled. Seems there is a perception in management that Indians walk on water.

    There really is not a tech shortage, just a willingness by companies to save a dollar either by lower pay or longer hours.

  13. It’s all a scam to increase the population unnaturally (not through American citizen births) so that there is an over supply of labor. This has also been happening in the “blue collar” sector through illegal immigration. People flooding in over our southern border have taken over the gardening/landscaping industry as well as construction labor sector. We can see it everywhere. Apparently being an American citizen offers little to no advantage to being a foreign national in terms of our job market. In part, because it has been widely accepted that America is just a place, not a country with a culture and history. Ask a recent immigrant who Benjamin Franklin or John Adams (either one), or Thomas Jefferson was. Ask them who Teddy Rooesevelt was. We have a country. We have a history. But amoral corporations don’t care about the people who allowed them to come into existence and flourish to the point where they are in control of everything without regard to us as citizens of the United States of America. The very people whose ancestors who fought and died for us, who brought this country into existence and insured its survival are being crushed by greedy billionaires who could care less if we all starve to death. They’ll just get people from other countries to do the work they need done in order to make more billions.

  14. Here’s facts

    1 h1b salary is not more than 50 or 60k
    2. H1B workers do not have “special” qualifications or even experience. Most of them aren’t even experienced
    3. All big corporations are trying to cut costs down and through lobbying they are able to keep H1B going

  15. I have already witnessed what is going on 1st hand. 2 people with 1/3 of the experience I have making 10-20K more a year. I did my research. Seems when the boss ends up being of India descent, the truth gets revealed.

  16. Kevin62

    I have been an SAP consultant for 20 years. Started out at $90 per hour, currently make $120 (math majors figure out annualized raise %). H1B will work for $50 per hour. Check out DICE if you don’t believe it, lower pay for H1B is a fact. H1B has made billions for founders/execs of Infosys, Tata, etc.

    • @glenn_a_allen

      I’m also a technical SAP consultant. $120 is very good right now!! And you are correct, the rates on Dice/Monster/Indeed are bargain basement. I haven’t used them in years.

  17. Brett Hughes

    If you’re interested, you can now head over to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website and download a massive (over 100MB!) dataset of H-1B data for fiscal year 2019 (it’s under the ‘Disclosure data’ tab) – This link does not work and the ‘Disclosure data’ tab does not exist.

  18. David Schmidt

    Just another reason why importing of tech workers need to stop. Companies, with the help of their pet politicians, have distorted the labor market so that IT and Engineering workers are paid less than they are worth. There is no shortage of smart people in America. To claim that Americans are inherently dumb is, in itself, asinine. The problem is the large companies who refuse to pay tech workers what they are worth after years of schooling and hard studies, so they import foreign labor to distort the playing field and provide more supply than is demand and therefore have created a less desirable profession for young American minds to enter. Same has been a result of Obamacare. Doctor’s are being paid less so their is less incentive for smart and talented individuals to enter the profession and devote their life to a mediocre paying job. Say what you will and sugar coat it anyway you want, that is the cold hard truth. Corporate greed.

  19. The issue is that H1B’s are not supposed to go to foreigners who “only have a bachelors and they may or may not be that good” and are “offered very low salaries which takes down the average.” They are supposed to be for highly-skilled workers with skill sets that are difficult, if not impossible to find.

    As for lesser skilled US workers, they want to be paid a wage that hasn’t been depressed by an influx of non-citizens whose skills are no better then theirs. Sure, some might still have outsized expectations of what they should be paid, but market forces will quickly fix that.

  20. The H1B program MUST stop. Enough is enough for all Americans. I am not buying the support of it that there are not enough US Citizens to fill up the open positions.

  21. The interesting thing is that everyone seems to believe Indian resources are cheap. Even OPTs with 0 years of experience demand $100K. H1Bs in metro areas start from $75K for 1 year experience. The only cheap labor is provided by Management Consulting companies including Big 4 that bring people here with L and B visas. These folks do not get US salaries they get their India salary plus daily allowance which is less than $100. It is impressive that even government entities have no problem having B visa employees work on their projects.
    H1Bs are highly over-priced, any employer can easily find a US technical resource for less than $100K, maybe in CA it is a different story but rest of the country most technical folks work for way less than that. Unfortunately Indians project themselves as “poor” and “under-paid” when they all afford luxury cars and buy mega-mansions in East Coast. Most Indians get paid much much more than their American peers and noone questions that. Many American college grads work at Starbucks while OPTs get jobs that at least pay $40/hr starting salary. Big 4s and many other Management Consultant companies exclusively hire Indians giving Americans no chance in STEM. I don’t expect Trump or anyone else to change this since big companies benefit the most from this and American managers prefer foreign labor since they are less of a competition. It is time we all move to India. As an American you will have much more opportunities there.

    • While lobbying Congress for more H-1B visas, industry claims H-1B workers are “the best and brightest”. Come payday, however, they’re entry-level workers.

      The wage rules for H-1B and green card sponsorship are broken down into wage Levels I, II, III and IV, with Level III being the median. For software developers, the most common type of foreign worker on H-1B, the green card data show the following percentages of foreign workers at Levels I or II making below-median wages: Amazon 91%; Facebook 91%; and Google 96%. These firms, putatively in the vanguard of advanced technology and certainly in the vanguard in Capitol Hill lobbying regarding H-1B, are paying almost all of their foreign workers – ostensibly, the “best and brightest” – wages below the median for the given region.

      The Government Accountability Office (GAO) put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired at the entry-level wage level. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who are “fully competent”.

      This all belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they’re experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

  22. Whatever

    So many solid observations in the comments, but until we change the system (or at least many of the blatantly myopic laws) they are just observations of the effect that collusion has. Bottom line, in order for a capitalist society to “work”, it has to be just. If the goal of corporations is to be profitable, and corporations run the government, then you get exactly what we have.

    Require the government (or better yet corporations in our case) to educate our people, and the bite lessens. It’s not a coincidence that most if not all of the the foreign workers who come here, come from countries where their government supported their drive to get educated.

    It is, however, much easier to sit here and compare who’s racist statement is worse than the other guys racist statement, and who’s doing what behind who’s back. I mean really, the fact that we have things called “special interest groups” running something we call a democracy speaks volumes. The fix is in.

  23. Tom Warren

    I agree with you, the H1B program is a fiasco. The Indi people have built a fraud schema around the H1B, the first setters that were granted with the H1B took advantage of it and started getting management position and then they started bringing and contracting only their people to fill the IT positions using the H1B Visa program. They always use the excuse that there are not enough Americans to fill the positions and then bring their people to cover it, but the really is that they reject the American applicants to favor their people.

  24. Saurav Sharma

    There are 2 kinds of H1B’s
    1. Folks like me who paid international tuition fee (usually 3 times in state tuition). Graduate, take OPT, get H1B and depending on Employer greencard. People like us are the reason US small universities stays afloat financially.
    2. Indian consulting firm directly bringing Indian graduates from India. Tata, Infosys, Mahendra and tons of other small consulting firms. Here you have no guarantee of whats written in resume is actually true, no way to verify the education or experience.

    When it comes to H1B both of these gets lumped into same category and treated equally. I think there needs to be a separate visa program for US university graduates vs directly hired from India. I paid triple, worked my ass off and got undergrad in Engineering and MS in Engineering from GA Tech, rooted for Falcons for last 12 years of my life. Now at work & socially I am labeled under same category as H1B Indians brought in by Tata and Infosys.

    • Doesn’t matter. The H-1B workers hired by Infosys and the like may be paid less than those hired by Facebook and Google. But the fact remains that both kinds of companies – the outsourcers and the non-outsourcers – are underpaying their H-1B workers. Imagine we were talking about cars instead of people, just as an analogy. Facebook buys the nicer, better quality Toyota Camry whereas Infosys buys the not-as-nice, lesser quality Toyota Corolla. Yes, the Corolla is less money than the Toyota. But the point is that the H-1B visa legislation allows both companies to get their cars at a 20% discount.

      • “Yes, the Corolla is less money than the Toyota…”*

        *Please note, the above should read, “Yes, the Corolla is less money than the Camry…” I’m sure you got the point, though.

    • Random Dude

      Just because you had money to afford international fee or rooted US sports team, it doesn’t mean you are a highly skilled H1b worker. I could bet there are thousands of skilled workers better than you without masters degree. I agree with cheap H1b labor and fake resumes as others mentioned.

      • @glenn_a_allen

        The notion of integrity with this culture is different from the US. Lying is acceptable in order to get ahead and then work hard to come up to speed. Here is a new spin on fake resumes. A recruiter told me not to post my resume on job boards because fake recruiting companies will steal them and put another name on it. Also there is the bait and switch during a phone interview where the experienced person does the interview and the junior person shows up for the gig.

    • Aiegin Simendi

      just because you paid for international tuition doesnt make you any better than foreign graduates, and no they have documents to prove their education and experience, tho there are small number of frauds out there.

  25. I’m an IT worker looking for work and am getting calls from Indians for jobs that are no where near where I live or have nothing to do with my previous experience. What’s with that?

    A friend told me that it’s Indian IT firms getting you to say no so that they can justify an H1B position. What do you all think? How do I stop these junk job calls?

    • A company doesn’t have to justify hiring an H-1B worker. In fact, it’s perfectly legal to replace a perfectly qualified US citizen or permanent resident with an H-1B worker. What your friend was probably alluding to is the employment based (EB) green card procedures. One of the steps in one being granted an EB green card is something called PERM. PERM is the process for obtaining labor certification, the first step of the green card process for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through their employment.

      To obtain an approved PERM Labor Certification, the employer must prove (through newspaper advertising and other recruiting methods) that they were unsuccessful in recruiting a qualified U.S. worker for a certain position.

  26. The main issue here seems to be with having so many IT H1B’s claiming to be highly skilled with fake resume. A very important thing that we all seem to have missed in the discussion is the definition of highly skilled. Any other profession apart from IT like civil engineer, mechanical engineer, doctors, Architects etc need to have a license that proves their worth. The process of licensure itself weeds out the non deserving. With no such licensure requirements to check the skills or the quality of incoming labor force in IT sector, I believe is one of the major reason why the H1B is being abused so badly. If only there was an association similar to medical and other engineering fields that could stop the misuse of H1B by IT sector.

  27. I am not a H1B, but an Indian…Been in IT for 20 years – I think all viewpoints here are interesting…I left IT last year because I could not successfully deliver IT projects with the new President making it impossible for me to have talented people on my team…I was getting paid a lot so believe me when I say it was an expensive protest against the current administration. Perhaps if folks on this thread watch “American Factory” on Netflix, you will understand the future a little better…and hopefully be better prepared for it…

    There is no reason to have a strong viewpoint on either side…Reminds me of the opening line in “The Great Escape” by the German Commandant….”There is much foolishness…ON ALL SIDES”

  28. Russell Taylor

    THis is Bull Shit, Most of them make more than I do and I have been working in this field for 20) years. And I make mid 90’s as a Quality Assurance / Business Analyst. And you need to remember that India hires India only.