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Strict limits on U.S. work visas

— By Shanshan Lu — In recent years, more and more high-tech multinational companies have chosen to come to Canada,…

By Shanshan Lu , in Business Technology , on October 25, 2007

By Shanshan Lu

In recent years, more and more high-tech multinational companies have chosen to come to Canada, deterred by strict U.S. immigration policies.

The U.S. sets a quota on work permits every year — the H1B visa, a visa that allows foreignUBC Student Shuan Wang fell for U.S. immigration policiesers to work legally in the U.S.

This quota applies to every alien except those who have received Master’s Degrees and higher in the U.S. Like a lottery, the H1B visa is randomly processed.

UBC student Shuan Wang fell for such a quota. He thought he had secured a job when Oracle San Francisco made him an offer of employment in March, 2007. When he graduated in May from the Computer Science School, he learned that he was not lucky enough to have won the visa.

“Almost 50 per cent of the international students in our program this year who received offers from U.S. companies didn’t get the work visa,” said Wang.

His only available option would be to stay in company branches based outside the U.S. for at least one year and then transfers to the U.S. headquarters.

“When faced with the quota situation, some small companies are not even able to help their employees at all,” Wang said. “I am taking the risk of being left out as well.”

Wang would prefer to stay in Canada than move elsewhere. “I have been pushing the company to help me, but I realize that it is really not their responsibility, since it is your visa problem,” Wang added.

He is still in Vancouver, waiting for the company’s decision.

“I am not even sure about when I am supposed to start working. There is a chance that I might have to find another job,” said Wang.

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