Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella told American Public Media’s “Make Me Smart” podcast that:
I think the H-1B Review is … a good thing because I think every country should look at their immigration policy and in this case, it’s about American competitiveness.
The Microsoft CEO is talking about the new Trump Executive Order that required the Department of Labor, Justice and Homeland Security to review H-1B visa policies to screen fraud and abuse from the program. The “Buy American, Hire American” executive action was signed on April 18, 2017. It may take months before any of the executive branches issues their guidelines on best practices for H-1B visas.
While American companies wait for guidance on the issue from Washington, DC, Satya Nadella went on to explain that the H-1B visa is about high-skill labor. He thinks we need a review of the visa so that America can promote the RIGHT use of the H-1B visa and curtail H-1B visa abuse. That believe may stem from the “Buy American, Hire American” executive action. If more of the visas are freed up by cutting abuse, then other American companies can hire the world’s best talent.
Microsoft appears to use the H-1B visa to do just that. Satya Nadella says that Microsoft employs the H-1B visa to access high-skilled global talent and keep itself, an American company, globally competitive. Microsoft is just like other high tech American businesses that need to ensure the world’s best talent is on their team.
For example, another American business and the leader in the bleeding edge of technology, Facebook, employs so many H-1B visa holders that is legally considered an H-1B Dependent employer. Why is it considered an H-1B dependent company? The law says so:
An employer is considered H-1B-dependent if it has:
• 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and at least eight H-1B nonimmigrant workers; or
• 26 – 50 full-time equivalent employees and at least 13 H-1B nonimmigrant workers; or
• 51 or more full-time equivalent employees of whom15 percent or more are H-1B nonimmigrant workers.
So the very best tech companies in America, and the world, use lots of H-1B talent. It is no surprise to the hundreds of thousands of international students on F-1 visas. Most of them major in STEM. Most computer science graduate degrees earned in the United States are awarded to foreign born students. We should welcome them to this land and hope they use their talent to keep American business the global technology leader.