Council for Global Immigration quoted in article – “Tech companies tap visa program to meet workforce needs, despite challenges, controversy”

7/28/2014
Council in the News
​​The Baltimore Sun, 07/26/2014 –

“Merkle Inc. builds more than 1,000 complex computer models each year for marketing clients who want to know more about their customers' behaviors and preferences, and that requires skilled manpower the company's recruiters struggle to find.

“…Merkle is among...companies and institutions…that rely on a controversial visa program to bring skilled workers to U.S. soil…

“…But tech industry advocates say those are no simple hires, requiring thousands of dollars in legal fees and at least six months of lead time, with no certain payoff as companies nationwide share 85,000 visas allotted in a lottery each April. They say reforms are needed to align the immigration system with an increasingly global labor market — reforms similar to those that freed academics from the visa cap, though not from a burdensome application process.

“…On April 1 every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers up H-1B visas for positions to begin no earlier than the start of the federal fiscal year Oct. 1. Although it can be tricky for many companies to plan so specifically more than six months in advance, the demand is nonetheless crushing — the agency received 172,500 applications for the visa allotment this April 1, meaning slightly less than half of the applications were approved in a lottery to winnow the list.

“‘It was basically a coin flip this year,’ said Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison for the Council for Global Immigration, a Virginia-based advocate for employment-based immigration issues. ‘That causes a lot of problems as far as predictability within a work force.’”

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