Microsoft and other High Tech Companies Apply for Fewer H-1B visas

Microsoft and other High Tech Companies Apply for Fewer H-1B visas

The Seattle Times reports today that with increasing layoffs, the downturn of the economy, and a slow down in hiring, Microsoft Corp. has applied for fewer H-1B visas for specialty occupations.

Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said “Microsoft still sees the H-1B program as an important part of its strategy to hire the best people, regardless of their citizenship.”

“I don’t think it’s feasible or economically sensible for the country to have to fill every single open position without considering some of the best talent that’s available from around the world,” Smith said during a conference call with reporters on the same day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began processing applications for the visas.

“I think we’re going to see substantially fewer H-1B applications filed this year compared to last year,” Smith said, adding that for Microsoft, the majority of applications will be to extend the stays of existing workers rather than for new hires.

Critics of the H-1B visa program believe that if large companies like Microsoft have applied for fewer visas, then companies across the country will follow suit.

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