Nearshore Americas

H1B Visa: Immigrant Workers Are the Majority in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is reportedly so heavily dependent on H1B visa holders that it might become a veritable ghost town if deprived of them — foreign tech employees are in fact the majority in Silicon Valley, according to the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project (SVCIP) Report.

An analysis of the 2016 census data by the Seattle Times also found that foreign workers account for 71% of workers in the San Jose area. Silicon Valley remains the “center of the tech universe,” the paper declared.

Outside of the Valley, just about every large technology center in the country relies more on foreign workers than domestic ones.

More than half of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers in the Valley are foreigners, with California natives accounting for barely 18% of the workforce.

In New York City, 43% of STEM workers are from other countries, according to SVCIP researchers.

No doubt that most of these foreign workers have landed a job in the country through the H1B visa program. In fact, processing the H1B visa is very expensive, so only deep-pocketed companies can afford to make use of it.

“The H1B process is not just complicated — it’s also quite expensive to sponsor an H1B visa worker, a cost larger companies may be more willing to absorb,” says the Seattle Times.

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The program has become so successful because the American hunger for talented technology professionals has remained insatiable. Thanks to the program, even Google and Apple have employed thousands of H1B visa holders at their campuses across the country.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.


  • Lobbying Article. H1B and H4 EAD desired not for skills but cheap salary / labor. Same reasons what happened at University of San Fran , Edisin gas , Disney IT and ofcourse so called brand companies in silicon valley.

    H1B H4 ead is systematic abuse of the program and Lie . There are more than enough US citizens for IT . H1B and H4 EAD should rescind and cancelled. After 6 years – temp should fo back to country they have passport of.

  • If it were that ‘expensive’, doubt they would even do it. This is done because the foreigners will work cheap, plus they are locked in, like slaves, to the corp. that brought them over. So, they have to put up with any treatment they are given and can’t complain; otherwise, they are on the next plane back to the home country.

  • 45.2% of all science researchers in the CARIBBEAN REGION are women.

    Somehow you’ve managed to translate that factoid into: “46% of STEM workers in NYC are foreign.”

    • The above story states that 43% of STEM workers in NY are foreign born, not 46%. This data was taken from the original report. New York Stem Pros

  • The actual “facts” are closely hidden and difficult to quantify. Many companies have 99% Indian workforces. You can walk all day in many neighborhoods around the valley and never see another non-Asian. Being white these days is a curse. Even though we are the least racist race, it is politically correct to blame us for somehow being “personally responsible” for all the problems of everyone else. What ever happened to the battles we fought endlessly to create a society where everyone is treated equally?

    India, if corporate greed and stupidity continues to bring you here by the millions, please study and understand what the US is really about. Hint, it is not about you! Study and understand our struggles in the 60’s and 70’s and behave appropriately. We are growing tired of this battle. We are tired of the cheating, incompetence, and arrogance you bring.

  • My violin plays for the H1B & H4. Not ! You have abused the system for years, bringing all on one visa, chain migration. I will be glad when it is abolished.
    India is the 2nd largest democracy in the world, but your caste system although outlawed in India and thought to be gone is far from it, it is alive and well. During a 6 week visit to India what presented me as I exited the airport was the smell of rotting garbage and trash everywhere. There are garbage cans and garbage trucks but none are used instead everything is discarded onto the streets and ground. And when it comes to your sacred cow where it drops is where it rots. In my visit right in the middle of the street. So much for sacred.
    When there I was told never to use those bathrooms, they were meant for the others the one below me. If India is the country for which you are so proud then why not stay there and continue to build its greatness?
    I have never met a group of people who are so arrogant and will do anything to get ahead. Lieing, cheating and stealing from anyone who stands in their way inclusive of the people who have brought them into our houses and trusted them. In fact I had the opportunity to work with an Indian IT Team. I trained them for that 6 weeks in India. When they arrived in the US I was told to say nothing to the company we were providing IT services. When asked how much experience my team had they replied 5-6 years for each of the consultants. No they had 6 weeks memorized everything, but could apply nothing I was aghast.
    They were escorted to a condominium complex by their Indian counterparts then split into two rooms their passports were confiscated, the furniture was taken out and a mattres was thrown on the floor and they were given a hot plate. Six per room, the curtains drawn no room service then told they would work in shifts 24/7 and if they refused their were plenty more where they came from. I did not sign up for this and complained to my counterparts in India, I was fired.
    Their biggest complaints was the cost of living, shoes, shirts, slacks were 10x’s what they paid at home. Out of sympathy I took them shopping at two stores a Thrift Shop & Goodwill, they loved the prices and loved the clothing, but there was a hitch. They asked were any of these cloths worn by a Christian or a Jew and when I replied yes possibly, they threw everything on the ground and announced we cannot touch any of it never mind wear it. If they ask us to come to their country and assimilate to their customs we do, but heaven forbid if you come ours you denounce us.
    Nothing is sacred other than to take jobs away from Americans. Shame on the companies that hire them, because they will take your job and throw you out on the street too.

  • I completely agree, although I am Indian, I am appalled by what is happening, in many companies, you can find only
    Indians getting hired. nepotism is rampant and so is cheating, when a recruiter asked me to lie on my resume I refused
    and was ridiculed. H1-B needs to be scrapped, it is not serving its purpose.

  • I am a small business owner, American citizen, my family has been in this country since before it was a country (since 1717). I needed a mechanical engineer. I posted a job on Indeed. Not a single qualified “American” applied. Only foreign born or immigrants did. I found an excellent young go-getter Indian. We need immigrants to fill these jobs because Americans seem to be too above the type of work that is needed. Tons of jobs are out there but white Americans don’t seem interested. I need technicians, fabricators. Again, only foreign born workers are applying. So tell me what am I supposed to do?

  • Our public education system has failed to attract, encourage, and educate our middle class the American middle class in STEM jobs? I think that is part of the problem. But from all I have absorbed there are other dastardly forces within our Global STEM corporations. It is primarily the students of wealthy parents who attend private school who have the big edge, whether in the USA or India . It was not always that way. The U.S. Realize the number of 1 percenters from a country of 1 billion is almost 4 times than the same in America. They do not need student loans or scholarships and pay cash for their single family homes. The engineers who took a man to the moon were primarily middle/upper citizen public school attendants. Compare the emphasis on quality affordable STEM education by our current and past presidents compared to that of John F. Kennedy.