Outsourcing Firms Grab Visas

Foreign companies use 30% of H1B visas to train workers in US
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 15, 2007 11:51 AM CDT
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks at the Iowa State Republican Party Convention in Des Moines, Iowa in this June 17, 2006, file photo. With Congress always looking for new ways to boost tax receipts...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – H1B visas—intended to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the U.S.—may in fact helping foreign companies to train their workers, two senators argue. Data released by Republicans Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley indicate that nine Indian outsourcing firms use up 30% of the H1B visas granted each year, more than experts had realized previously.

The companies, Durbin and Grassley say, use the visas to bring in foreign workers for short-term training, then send them back home. Now they want to see changes to the way the program works—specifically, requiring that companies try to hire American workers before they look for workers abroad—adding yet another complication to the already crowded debate over immigration reform. (Read more outsourcing stories.)