How Will the H-1B Ban Impact Technologists’ Plans?

How do technologists feel about the temporary ban on H-1B visas? Blind, which anonymously surveys tech-industry workers, found that quite a number are impacted in some way by Trump’s executive order. (Blind’s survey size was 3,100 workers.)

Some 53 percent of respondents said they were on a work visa. However, a third said that the impact of the ban on them would be limited (“e.g., restricted travel or career opportunities”), and only five percent said that a family member was harshly impacted by it (“e.g., a rescinded job offer”). 

Many technologists also said they would try to mitigate the impact as best they could. Some 17 percent said that they would try to find a new job/position at a different company if they had to, while 34 percent said they’d look for a job in a new country; around 17 percent said they’d end their job search.

Roughly 43 percent said they’d go somewhere else in North America (i.e., Canada or Mexico) if they had to find a job in a new country, while around a third (33 percent) said they’d pursue employment in the U.K. or EU. 

Although the ban is set to expire in 2021, that could change if Trump wins re-election and decides to extend it. Many of the biggest tech companies aren’t pleased with the move; Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, said on Twitter that he was “deeply disappointed by this proclamation,” echoing almost exactly the language used by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. These companies, of course, rely on the H-1B visa, and the proclamation will interfere with their hiring plans for the coming quarters.

With the ban, the Trump administration wants to spur the hiring of U.S. citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the administration of our Nation’s immigration system, we must remain mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in the current extraordinary environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor,” the order states. “Historically, when recovering from economic shocks that cause significant contractions in productivity, recoveries in employment lag behind improvements in economic activity.” 

The big question now is, will tech companies actually hire more U.S. citizens for open roles? Or will they lean into hiring more employees for their offices in other countries, including Canada

38 Responses to “How Will the H-1B Ban Impact Technologists’ Plans?”

  1. i don’t think H1b Ban will have a big impact. Currently the IT job market is flooded with IT consultants…Also now a days almost 80-90% of IT organizations are in the hands of Indians (US citizen/green card/H1b’s) who usually (but not always) hire their indian friends, family or caste members. i heard about this caste based practice but didn’t pay much attention to it till this thing started coming into the main stream news like this recent case at CISCO.
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-sued-for-bias-based-on-indian-caste-system-2020-07-01

    I request the higher management in IT orgs to please make their hiring/promotion process transparent so that people just don’t hire/promote based on their personal association only. This kind of hiring is good for no one.

    • It has been happening for years. Personally, I have never seen a case where an Indian hiring manager hires a non-Indian. One of my Indian friends, told me recently, that his “company cannot hire anybody in the US, because they cannot bring anybody from India”.

      I have seen rare cases where Chinese hiring managers hire non-Chinese, though.

  2. No one can help if you’re gonna take odd cases like these & blow them up as if it’s mainstream. Not everything is based on some stereotype. There’s always bad apples in no matter what company or industry is considered.

  3. The impact on me, as I have more recruiters offering me better jobs paying more money, instead of Recruiter is offering me less and less money every year as we are flooded with H1B‘s. I’m sure Google Apple Microsoft and IBM are unhappy. But they are no friends to American citizens were the president of the United States. I say screw them.

      • billnict

        The problem with your ” first worry about your own citizens” comment is there aren’t enough SKILLED tech workers in the United States to fill the jobs. Putting limits on the number of H1B1 visas jeopardizes high paying tech jobs for US citizens because if they can’t get enough skilled workers for their US operations, they will outsource operations to India, Sri Lanka, etc. where there is no shortage of skilled workers…

        • The number of H1b visas needs to be reduced drastically for the next 5 years at least and the terms of the H1b visa need to remove the ‘dual-intent’ clause. That will help a lot.

        • WRONG! There are PLENTY of out of work technical folks in the US. Companies won’t hire them because they’re over 50 y.o. The screwups in the IT industry because companies want that cheap labor are many. Cheap labor is the keyword. Not skills.

        • @billnict, companies will offshore regardless. The battle now is about us being replaced in the US too.

          There are enough skilled Americans. Entry level jobs can be filled by American new STEM graduates. Nobody can say that the Indians are more skilled than the Americans, when there are so many cases of Americans training their Indian replacements. And we all have had Indian colleagues, and we know by now that they are not better than us.

        • There are Lots of Americans with technical skills. I am one. I was laid off. I am not being hired while I watch Indian after Indian pop up on linked in with the news that they have just been hired including jobs I applied for and didn’t Even get an interview. Sure enough I look up the company and soooo many Indians

      • RSmith

        For those who say that there are not enough trained American workers just take a look at LinkedIn. American want to work they are tired of being pushed out of the market place by global wealth for cheap labor cost. The companies want the stability of the United States but don’t want to pay the cost. With COVID 19 they have seen first hand how China and Russian governments deal with companies and plans are being changed as we speak. Canada does not allow such labor practices. In Canada the Canadian workforce comes first and this is common in most countries. Do you think China would ever allow there work force to be replace by foreign labor in key technological positions.

        US labor laws are not being enforced and corruption has found a place in the immigration department. The US has foreign countries stealing US patents and innovation without any reprimand. Apple products are now made in China which has a government that has stated it wants world domination through AI control. All of this in the shadow of the COVID 19 pandemic when US american workers are losing jobs. Something has to be done EEOC laws need to be enforced, US immigration needs to get tougher on who gets visa H1B, L1, or any type of work visa. Some how we have forgotten that the visa program was developed to allow for immigrants to find work until citizenship could be obtained. I don’t understand why our government will allow foreign labor to displace Americans out of their jobs.

    • Thank you for saying SCREW ’em to Apple, Google, FB, et. They are globalist SCUM and they care NOTHING about US CITIZENS. If I was the POTUS, I would eliminate the H1B visa completely and immediately DEPORT ALL Indians, Russians and other foreigners who’ve taken jobs from US citizens. I believe the US GOV. doesn’t do enough to 100% VERIFY that they could not find US talent.

      I’ve seen too many comments here by Americans with 10, 20, 30+ years of experience who can’t get work because US companies have BETRAYED them and this country in purusit of profits. Sooooooooooo, they hire INDIANS with extremely poor English skills, unverifiable credentials and do so for less than they’d pay Americans.

      I work in IT procurement and have had to deal with the likes of TCS, INFOSYS, WIPRO and HCL Americas and their people often fail to meet SLAs in contracts, provide exceptionally poor productivity and often have to do the job 3-4 times before it’s correct for final submittal and approval.

      Another aspect we should move toward doing is the repeal of the 14th Amenndment of the Constitution – that’s the amendment, origianllay designed to grant citizenship to freed slaves and their children after the Civil War. It has morphed into “birthright citizenship” for the children of immigrants (both legal & illegal) born on US soil. Why do you think Indians come here and have kids? Yes, they are “anchor babies.”

      Only the US and Canada in the First World have birthright citizenship. Nowhere in the UK, France, Germany or any other country in the EU does this automatic grant of citizenship at birth exist. There must be a connection to that country, generally at least one parent being BORN in that country for the child to be granted citizenship.

      The treasonous socialists in the DEM PARTY have, for 50 years chipped away at our sovereignty, citizenship and national identity and it must STOP. I also predict that we will see riots if Trump wins re-election and possible civil war after that.

      A nation without borders and the will to control and enforce them is no longer a nation.

      • The authors of the 14th Amendment had discussed the issue. They made it plain that the term ‘jurisdiction’ as used in the Amendment meant government. A foreign child born to foreign parents on American soil is still a legal citizen of the same country as the parents and is under the ‘jurisdiction’ of their parent’s government. Unless the parents renounce their citizenship, the child’s citizenship remains the same as the parent’s citizenship. Only those who sought to destroy the cultural matrix of the US, through such monstrosities as the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, were pushing for the broader interpretation. A strict interpretation as intended by the authors of the 14th eliminates the idea of ‘anchor babies’ completely.Birthright Citizenship: A Fundamental Misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment

        • Nope, he’s right in saying it’s the Democrats who are against us, or DemonRats if you will. They could care less about the well being of US citizens and only care about the payouts from corporations to keep Americans unemployed. Trump is the first president in a long time to bring jobs back to the US. Trump 2020!

  4. The new memo due to court order which just states file h1b and get 3 years approval will make life vulnerable. Again the reign of multi national companies from india, their pet vendors and pet people (training students and consulting companies) will flood the IT offices.
    When the purpose of H-1B is not displacing available citizens for the job means the job ad has to be placed in local and internet to seek resumes from Citizens. If they can post it for 15 days, maintain the database of resumes they received and interviewed which USCIS can review with the client etc would help to reduce fraud in H-1B and taking away Citizen’ jobs.

  5. The question that should be asked is this: Should H-1B’s be imported to the US during a time of economic, social and political ferment? Violence is becoming both indiscriminate and commonplace. Some of that violence will, inevitably, be directed at those believed to be taking American jobs. It’s not a good time to be an H-1B in America, and it might get worse.

  6. Anonymous

    The only impact will be that many more will keep coming and grabbing all the good jobshere, All of trump’s ban, much like himself, are completely useless.

  7. “The big question now is, will tech companies actually hire more U.S. citizens for open roles? Or will they lean into hiring more employees for their offices in other countries, including Canada? ” One answer is they will find living in Canada much less lucrative than the US. As some one who worked in Canada for 10 years, and has many Canadian relatives, they will find the cost of living much higher, and job opportunities are much less frequent in Canada. The simple answer is still, we have plenty of US citizens who are trained in IT that can populate those jobs. It is just these companies (who make most of their money in the US), don’t want to pay a competitive wage.

  8. Joseph

    Dice seems to have a sob story about H-1B every week. If H-1B was really ended (it won’t be), it would incentivize Big Tech to send 99% of all tech jobs out of the US. At least this way, Americans might just wake up and see that Big Tech is part of the Globalist Elite and couldn’t care less about the country that enabled them to get started and grow. F ’em.

  9. Unemployment numbers are going up every day. Just last week 1.4 million new unemployed, IT unemployment hasn’t changed much…. and you still think H1B is the problem??

    • @andy, H1B is always a problem. It was a problem before this crisis, and unfortunately it will very probably be a problem after this crisis. We have to get rid of this program, and of any similar programs.

  10. I no longer comment on H1b or L1 visas or India. It has been massively abused and reengineered on the fly to the advantage of US businesses, immigration lawyers, Indian companies and Washington lobbyists.

    It’s a constantly losing proposition for American IT pros. For contractors, Indians have decayed the hourly rates so low, that Americans have been pushed out of the job market or have made Americans lose interest in any STEM jobs.

    So, as I said, I’ve lost interest even commenting on the subject.

    Nick Kowlakowski has stayed on top of it all along, BUT… he does deliver a consistent dose of bad news to Americans. Maybe he reports on just the facts, but it is negative news.

    Nothing seems to be fixing this issue for Americans!!

    • We have to keep fighting. Many people are not aware of this problem. Many of my friends are incredulous when I tell them. Many times I have to explain the problem to them again and again, until they understand. Sometimes I am being called “racist” and “far right”. So be it. I began donating to organizations that represent our interests.

      Anyway, if anybody has any other ideas about how we can fight, I am willing to listen.

      • I have started to download the data from USCIS from 1990 till 2019. I have looked at data related to Student Loans/American indebtedness as well as Historical data showing the rise of University Tuition fees and costs. Unremarkably, I have also seen data showing rising indebtedness within the “parents’ age range”. Personally, I know many parents are going into huge debt to pay for their children’s university education.

        All of these are related and how we are is UNSUSTAINABLE. I have looked everywhere to see if there is a website or a blog that shows this story. I can’t find a single source of truth.

        I think it is important to tell the REAL story by showing the REAL numbers and how this all relate. I intend to use Tableau or another powerful data analytics and visualization tool. Do this correctly and show the real numbers once and for all.

        I’ve looked at the Immigration and Non-Immigration numbers. It’s quite easy to see the rise of H1B/B1 conversions into Green Cards since the 90’s. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

  11. E Johnson

    Let’s get practical here; Apple/Google/Facebook/Microsoft already have offshore dev and operation centers. Infosys, TCS, HCL, Wipro, and the like are offshore providers as well. If we ban H1B and hope for backfilling by USC/GC it probably will not happen, most or all of the work can be put on the wire(internet). The freezing of H1B’s is not going to stop the labor arbitrage that is happening.

    COVID is demonstrating that you can work remotely, and do not have to have large offices to do the necessary IT work, it can be done anywhere in the world and the sky won’t fall on the end-user.

    • Bull! The quality of offshore IT work is very poor. Communication with Indians offshore is so poor, how could anything get built that works properly?

      If the Indians are such fantastic technologists, why do they want to come here to the U.S.? Why don’t they correct the many ills of India? Have you ever seen video of the filth there?

  12. Nick, excellent reporting! I think the comments are just as interesting as the article. It’s pretty cut and dry the H1B program helps big tech companies (cheaper labor) and hurts American workers (drives down wages, possible unemployment).

    I like how you ended the article Nick, will there be a drive towards moving the work entirely outside America? Good question I don’t know the answer yet…

  13. Mak Sid

    First we have give the jobs to American Citizen. More than 40 millions are unemployed. Otherwise the citizen of the USA will take the action on ballot boxes. You cannot justify giving jobs to others when Americans don’t have.

  14. I’m so angry. Most of the opportunities are ‘owned’ by Indian recruiting companies. What really truly bothers me is that they offer at least 20% less than what the American recruiters offer.

    We, the american workers, are getting hit left and right, up and down and this is NOT FAIR at all.

    Today, the stock market was down led by – less than spectacular reports from Apple and MSFT. It’s ridiculous really. It could be just pure greed on these companies’ part but what do they really expect? They screw us over – the local population by giving the jobs to Indian H1Bs AND Indian recruiting companies; which in turn depress our rates and wages AND decreases our ability to pay for the goods and services that they sell to us! This shows that it’s not just greed but quite a short-term mentality with no regard for sustaining our local economy. It’s sickening.

  15. Platinum SAP Consultant

    Eliminate ALL H1B visas. When the US is looking at 15% – 20% unemployment, companies shouldn’t be hiring people from outside the US for jobs that local professionals could do with minimal training.

  16. Gray Area

    Let’s talk about hiring practices. I volunteered for workforce reduction from my previous company two years ago and part of the severance package was career and job search advisors.

    What the advisors tell you is that applying through job boards results in single digit success. I’ve been told numbers from 1% up to 7% success rate. If you are going to use a recruiter, establish a relationship with that recruiter, thank you cards, etc. What the job advisors really stress is to use your networks to find jobs. Much of what is being said here speaks to that, a foreigner hiring a foreigner. If you’re looking, reach out to contacts, don’t be too proud to ask even casual acquaintances in IT if their employer is hiring. Joining meetup groups based on IT interest is a good way to expand your network if you are thinking about jumping ship. Just a simple introduction helps.

    Yes the H1B program is being abused. Hands down I agree!

    BUT

    In my experience everyone has MORE INFLUENCE and TIME than they think they do. In EVERY job I have ever had, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. My background is in sys admin and security contracting. I have had team members I couldn’t get fired for the life of me. People that literally stopped updating their skills around Server 2000, 2008 and were still employed because they did just enough that busy managers didn’t want to bother. Managers hate hiring! It is always a last resort for many reasons.

    These visas are temporarily suspended but THEY WILL COME BACK regardless of the political party so my advice to all job searchers and unhappy employees is to read Covey, specifically about the four quadrants on priority and importance and reduce quadrant 4 activities (low importance/low priority; netflix, gaming, aimless phone activities) to near zero.

    We are in IT, we have never been in a time when updating a technical or interpersonal skills was easier and for so little cost.

    Final note, there are great studies on prejudice regarding looks and hiring practices. I’m a slender guy naturally and when I found out men with larger biceps our offered higher salaries for the same job that translated to weight lifting for me. Studies also show there is a strong discrimination from hiring to pay raises against overweight people. Right or wrong, we all need to take a hard look at our lives and careers and make decisions to benefit us.

  17. The DR Guy IL

    I was fortunate to enjoy an IT career for 36 years working for a major American insurance company and a global IT Managed Services company. In 2017, one of my last major projects was migrating 80% of our IT workload and support offshore to India and Costa Rica, along with escorting many of my U.S. based employees and myself out the door. Why? It all comes down to corporate profits and keeping operating expenses low. Today’s C-Level executives have no allegiance to their home country, as today’s business world is totally global. The U.S. has plenty of potential talent and future employee prospects. It’s a shame, many won’t get the opportunity to get their IT careers started, etc. Heck, when I started decades ago, companies would train entry level personnel with a projected career path with the potential to make an exceptional salary. Unfortunately, this mindset is very rare these days. If I was starting over with today’s challenges, I would make sure to retain and develop the appropriate skillset and build a quality network. Another option, I would strongly suggest for American IT workers would be to partner up and start up your own company. So many options with Consulting, Support, etc. Matter of fact, if you want an IT career, starting your own company might be one of the last avenues for you (and your future U.S. based employees). In closing, I encourage people to not give up their dreams. There is too much talent in America.

  18. Hi all

    I think H1B is an excellent program but need to shape from abuse and should have government steps to get green card
    I started in H1B with small consultant 20 years agio. Then I was able to move to multinational however took me almost 18 years to get the green card not because companies, or country of origin. I am Colombien, because labor department. 3 times I applied my process queue for 3 years and don” t let go for next step. As a summary this country needs H1B workers. This is how Tech firms develop soft snd hardware but need enhance to be balance between economy, salaries and people. 🙂