CIO — UPDATED 8/17/2010 -- It's not often that H-1B visa critics and advocates are on the same page, but Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has accomplished the seemingly impossible. Representatives on both sides of the H-1B visa debate agree that the increased visa fees established as part of a new border security appropriations act introduced by Schumer in the U.S. Senate are inequitable and likely to be ineffective in creating or maintaining American IT jobs.
Dr. Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis and a leading voice in the call for temporary visa reform, says the increased fees are a setback and discriminate against Indian IT service providers. Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, who is usually on the opposite side of the H-1B visa debate, agrees with Matloff. Wadhwa says the legislation is "misguided, misleading, and won't achieve its purpose."
The law, signed by U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, stipulates that any company employing more than 50 workers in the U.S. must pay $2,000 more for an H-1B visa application and $2,250 more for an L-1 visa application if more than half of its U.S.-based workers are non-citizens. Those new fees come on top of a $320 filing fee, a $500 anti-fraud fee and a $1,500 American worker training fee.