Immigration for Talented Engineers is Ridiculous

April 24, 2014

in Legal, Team Building

Finding talented and qualified high-end engineers for our business is super hard. I’ve written about it many times before.

Because it is so hard, we cast a worldwide net looking to hire the best CUDA and OpenCL programmers from around the world. If we find talented non-US citizens, we pay the legal and immigration fees to obtain visas so they can relocate to Atlanta.

This year, we have a talented employee living in Brazil who we would like to relocate to Atlanta. He and his wife want to come. We applied for the H1-B visa this year. H1-B visas are only granted once each year in October. But this year, so many applicants filed for a visa that the US is only going to accept 40% of the applicants. That means that our talented and rarely qualified engineer only has a 40% chance of being able to come work with us in Atlanta in October, despite the fact that we’ve paid thousands in fees.

I was recently speaking with another person in a similar situation. He’s going to go work for a BigCo. He is also facing the 40% odds.

It’s a terrible system. Talented engineers should be handed a visa with a box of chocolates.

Another one of our employees from India has been here for many years. He is super talented. We want to get him a green card. We were told that the wait time for green cards for people from India is over 20 years long right now. 20 years!!! No amount of money can bypass that. It’s flat out ridiculous.

There are very real challenges we face that affect people’s lives and affect the ability of our business to flourish in the global marketplace in which we operate.

What are your thoughts on how immigration law affects your startup?


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