Comments regarding H1-b Visas in the last video

Hey Guys,

Long time lurker, and viewer since around episode 6 - and previously if you include tigerdirect with a more clean shaven logan!

Anyway, in your last video you made a number of comments regarding the H1b visa program which, as an H1b visa holder, struck me as being really quite missinformed and I wanted to clear up what appears to be a little lack of understanding.

First off, to understand the problem with US immigration and what influences the necessity for change of the H1b program you need to first understand that the H1b program is the only way for a professional or expert to run a chance of immigrating to the united states. When I say only, I truly mean the only way that isn't reliant upon naturalisation through family.

The next thing you need to know is only 60k H1b visas eligible for distribution each year.

The last and most pertinent issue is that the H1b lasts only 3 years, and must be responsored for a second term before the employee can be eligble for petitioning for the green card.

This tends to come as a huge surprise to many americans. Only 60k highly educated professionals are able to apply for residency in the United States in a given year.

The reason that the H1b gets so much flak is not on the basis of ethic reasons (I'm british as are many h1b holders, not indian). But that it's not a guarantee of permanent residency, and it ties the employee to the company - you cannot leave the company while you are on the H1b and if you are waiting for a greencard (typically takes 5-8 years) and you wish to change company and be sponsored by the new company that period is reset and you are sent to the back of the 8 year queue.

The major issues companies have with the H1b program is twofold; the employee isn't guaranteed the ability to stay permanently so the company has spent considerable sums bringing them to the US, training them and then they disappear after 3 years.

The second issue is the US education system (I know this is likely to be inflamatory); It simply is not up to scratch and students are not as prepared or educated to the same extent in the US as they are in the rest of the world. Using my own profile as an example here; when I studied mathematics and statistics at university for my bachelors degree I sat 28 subjects all focused on mathematics. However, for a us math major, the typical requirement of a us student to take only 30-40% of courses in a single subject area to be considered a major.

Consequently, prior to my move to the US, a professional education evaluator used by my lawyer determined that I had the equivalent to a US bachelors in mathematics by the end of just my second year at university. This was later affirmed after I met my wife, a math teacher, who spent a semester in ireland in her final year and could only take 2nd year math courses.

The end result is that in a constantly evolving world with many complex issues, US employers are beginning to need graduates that aren't simply familiar with the basics, but are equipped with a deeper understanding of their subject area. This narrows the talent pool of employees for technical job to Masters and PhD graduates, both which tend be in their late 20s to early 30s, or to tap into talent pools of more advanced and specialised education systems.


The H1b program is not just Indians, but highly educated professionals in general. It's the only method of legally immigrating to the US and it's quotas are INCREDIBLY low. It's necessitated by the lack of depth to the US higher education system in the sciences.


Undocumented workers, yes. Though, candidly, I believe they're probably bolstering the economy. They're typically very low paid and so spend what little they do get in the US, prop up the organisations that employ them and so on.

The huge focus on them perplexes me; they cannot vote and are not entitled to any form of government subsidy (other than emergency healthcare).

Frustratingly I contribute more than 4 times the average american in the way of taxes, am entitled to no subsidies at all; spend significant amounts of my wealth in the US economy and yet I cannot vote and am treated with disdain by every government official whos path I cross.

It's a frustrating situation laid in a foundation of xenophobia.

Thanks for the post!

I knew the whole lot of it is screwed up. The company I worked for in New York had several British employees on H1B Visas.
My main concern is incentives for businesses to bring folk like you would get less enticing as the costs would increase.
We also agree that the education system in the US is terrible. (And getting worse)

Thanks for contributing to help keep everyone better informed.

You rock.


The 'H1-B visas' sound similar to our Aussie 457 visas; the 457's are utilised to 'fill' or make up the shortfall in labour-shortages in many of our industries (in particular the mining-sector)

Often 457's are 'sponsored' by a host-employer, after a period many 457 visa holders will apply for permanent citizenship (though not in all cases)