Nearshore Americas

H1B Visa Restrictions Stoke Fear over Skill Shortage: Survey

Large majorities of U.S. IT companies with more than 50 software developers are concerned about the proposed changes to H1B visa program, saying the reforms will worsen the skill shortage and make hiring IT talent far more expensive.

More than anything else, many of them are considering offshoring to remain competitive in the global marketplace, according to a survey by Harvey Nash.

The study was conducted days after the Donald Trump administration issued an executive order to reform the visa program.

More than 60% of IT leaders are of the belief that there was no need to reform the program in the first place because it had successfully helped them access highly skilled IT talent,

Despite the executive order, a majority of respondents made it clear that they would not delay plans for product development and would not stop investing in innovation, because they said remaining globally competitive is an important aspect of their industry.

Nearly all of them agree that the current program meets their need to access talent, yet about 50% of the respondents conceded that it hurts the interest of American IT workers.

The research firm has predicted that the proposed visa restrictions will push IT wages up and prompt companies to outsource more of their business functions.

“The short-term effects of the proposed H1B visa program changes are that employer costs will increase and more jobs will be shipped offshore,” said Bob Miano, Harvey Nash USA President and CEO.

That’s because domestic supply of IT talent can’t change overnight, with the number of STEM graduates still low.

“U.S. companies will, over time, see an increasing demand vying for a fixed supply of talent. The results are that costs will go up, talent will stay in their home countries, and the U.S. will be less competitive on the world stage,” he added.

About 59% of companies surveyed said they consider offshoring as a solution, while about 49% of respondents said they would increase the acquisition of direct hires over IT contractors.

A similar survey conducted by TriNet also stated that there is a disconnect between the Trump administration’s immigration reform policies and the hiring needs of small businesses.

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Three out of four (76%) of the 750 owners, executives, and other hiring decision-makers from small and midsize technology, life sciences, and financial services businesses surveyed said that immigration reforms would negatively impact their business.

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.


  • Of course the “IT leaders” are concerned. They can no longer use foreigners to undercut the American software developers. I was born and raised in China and came here as an immigrant. My three children are much better in science and Math than any of my classmates in China at the same age. Because of the h-1b visa, my wife and I strongly discourage them to study computer science. With their talent, they are much better of studying finance. I am sure that millions upper-middle class Americans do the same to their children.

    United States is fully capable of producing more IT workers than it needs. But, in the current environment, if you are a native-born American speaking perfect English and capable enough to study computer science and engineering, you are better off not getting in the STEM.

  • “More than 60% of IT leaders are of the belief that there was no need to reform the program in the first place because it had successfully helped them access highly skilled IT talent” – what a joke!! are they Americans?

    when a county, India, cannot employ its graduates, say 500,000 every year, why are graduating graduating them? India must change its educational policy. US has nothing to do with employing Indians. They just take people when they need and send them back when they don’t need. It is Indian government to look after its people.

  • The survey is bogus since it includes, and only quotes from body shops.

    Harvey Nash USA is NOT an IT company! It is a body shop that pimps out H-1B workers. Every one of those head hunter companies needed to close long ago.

  • Fake News Alert!!! Thanks for pedaling the STEM shortage $cam one last time you spineless paid $hill!! Unfortunately for you and your MSM pals America has woken up.

  • The IT companies concern is that they will have to raise wages and salaries to get the STEM workers they need. STEM workers salaries have been flat to declining for last 17 years. H1-B visa is American job stealing indentured servant, lottery selection, $60K minimum corporate welfare system for the fat cats addicted to cheap labor. Kill the H1-B and stop the war on the American STEM worker. Let the STEM salaries and wages rise by stopping the flood of cheap temporary foreign workers.

  • How to combat Visa scam by Companies and stop Americans getting replaced for cheap labor :
    1) No company should have more than 50% of its employees working in Usain some kind of employer dependent visa. If you already have more than 50% foreign employees, you’re not eligible for any immigration benefits until you hire Us Citizens, permanent residents or EAD’s.
    2)If you employ more than 15% people on employer dependent visa, you can get further immigration benefits by only participating in H1b or L1b bidding and bidding salary should be more than the salary of an American doing the same job in same location and in same technology.
    3) If you outsource Us jobs or an H1b dependent company, then you need to pay 55% of tax on income you receive here.
    4) All visa employees need to reveal whether employer received money or gifts for getting visa for you or for compensating higher salary they are paying for you, if employer received benefits, employer is barred from doing any business in America.
    4) You can’t replace an American or permanent resident with any employee on visa