Here on Blind, I have seen some posts where people say that H1Bs should not be hired, or the quota should be reduced from 85,000 to 500, as they are taking away American jobs. (we've heard the same about other immigrant communities, but for those coming on student visa, are apparently taking away American tech jobs)
So let me tell you the process one has to go through, to reach here, the problems we face, and the compensation we make.
1. GRE and TOEFL exam - For many $400 worth of test is actually a lot of money. My salary in India started at $500 a month.
2. LORs, college specific application fee, and maybe interviews to get into a University
3. For visa, show 1-2 years of money in your account (including tuition fees, books, rent, air travel)
4. Do the Masters, probably get a research and or teaching assistantship to manage expenses.
5. After Master's, during a job fair, I was eligible for 5 out 50 companies because only they can sponsor visa.
6. If somehow you manage to get a job, then starts OPT application. Send forms to USCIS every 6 months to prove that what you're working on is directly related to the field of study, goals for next 6 months, achievements in the past 6 months.
7. Apply for OPT extension
8. H1B - Apply for H1B, get lucky to be picked up in a crazy lottery system with less than 50% chance, and be ready to leave the country if you don't get picked up in the lottery in 3 trials. If by chance you get picked up, there's now 20% chance, you can get RFE and get rejected, because some rando at USCIS was having a bad day.
9. If you get H1B, follow more process, fill several forms. If you want to change companies, those companies should also be ready to sponsor visas, and it can take at least 6 weeks. (you can get rejected there as well)
10. If a company decides to fire you, or you get caught in the lay off cycles, you have at most 60 days to find another job. (process of application and getting a call, setting interviews itself can take weeks, remember not all can sponsor visa, many times you clear interview and later they can change their mind on sponsorship).
Many of my friends who did get picked up in the lottery system, or got laid off during downsizing, after going through the physically and mentally exhausting gymnastics mentioned before, had to pack their bags and leave everything. Sell of their cars. Find a sublet. Sell their stuff, and go back home sad.
I get paid $250k.. With 5 yoe.. A lot of us do.
Are there companies who are abusing the Visa system? Absolutely!
Are there some people who aren't as qualified but they are used as cheap tech labourers to get the job done? Yes!
Does that represent the majority who leetcode for months and run around every company at job fairs just to get a chance to interview? NO!!!
So do you think those on H1B have it easy because you think companies somehow prefer H1Bs over citizens?
I want to know why do you think companies would hire H1Bs when it's more complicated, unstable, expensive (attorneys and additional sponsorship), pay a good compensation, just to avoid hiring American citizens?
Do you really think HRs are specifically selecting those on visas and ignoring others? I really want to know what you think. And what clarifications those on visa can give you.
Note: I didn't get picked up in lottery system in the past 2 years. I'm on F1 and one more lucky draw. :)
Haven't proofread this. So please ignore the typos.
Also what you've described is a very far cry from the reality of how an H1b visa is obtained and what's required for it.