The situation is not so easy for workers holding H-1B, visas and some are frustrated by
what they say is a flawed system. In a market where an employee's salary increases by
job-hopping, workers tied to an employer are at a disadvantage. For six years, H-1B
visa holders can be tied to the same company, doing the same jobs, limiting their
opportunity for growth. If they do leave an employer for career advancement, their
immigration process has to be started from the beginning again. And if they become
unemployed, the time allotted to find a new position is not enough -- they have only 10
Many notable luminaries in the high-tech community are making their concerns about this
shortage heard on Capitol Hill. Linus Torvalds, inventor of the Linux operating system,
Steve Wozniak, an educator and one of the cofounders of Apple Computer, and Esther
Dyson, president of EDventure Holdings, are among dozens of dot-com leaders pressing
Congress to issue green cards, not just temporary working visas, to foreign workers.
Opponents, however, contend that any attempt to bring in foreign workers is misguided.
They claim that more work should be done to hire and train potential employees already
in the US, such as older workers and people with disabilities.
The political dueling continues as the labor demands of the new economy grow. What
remains constant is the need for skilled IT workers; the uncertainty is in how the
labor shortage will be resolved.