Atlanta’s demand for skilled foreign workers is among the highest in the nation, and many of them are working for well-known companies and for all levels of government, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of federal visa applications shows.
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To hire H-1B workers, employers must file “labor condition applications” with the U.S. Labor Department. Those applications don’t necessarily equate to individual people entering the country, for several reasons:
• Employers must file an application when they change the work location of an employee who is here on an H-1B visa, even when the move is within the same state;
• Employers also file requests when they need to renew the H-1B status of workers who are already here;
• Employers may get their requests approved but decide not to follow through because they no longer need the workers;
• Many workers for whom requests are approved are already working here or graduating from U.S. universities.
Top five cities based on numbers of positions employers requested to fill with H-1B workers for those locations, according to labor condition applications filed in fiscal year 2012.
New York City, 44,389
San Jose, 14,612
Top five employers based on numbers of positions they requested to fill with H-1B workers for Georgia work locations, according to labor condition applications filed in fiscal year 2012.
Patni Americas Inc. (Now called iGATE Americas Inc.), 2,165
Syntel Inc., 1,640
Wipro Limited, 1,616
Syntel Consulting Inc. (subsidiary of Syntel Inc.), 1,455
Top five occupations based on numbers of positions employers requested to fill with H-1B workers at Georgia work locations, according to labor condition applications filed in fiscal year 2012.
Computer Systems Analyst, 8,596
Computer Programmers, 6,428
Software Developers, Applications 2,279
Computer and Information Systems Managers, 1,903
All Other Computer-related Occupations, 1,807
What Georgians are saying about the debate in Congress over expanding the H-1B program:
“At a time of high unemployment and under-employment, why should Congress greatly increase the number of H-1B visas for foreign workers to compete with Americans from the lowest to the highest education levels? Why isn’t putting more Americans to work the top priority of Congress?”
Phil Kent, a member of Georgia’s Immigration Enforcement Review Board and the national spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.
“I would expand it… Our country is a service economy and you don’t run a service economy without people. People are the resource in this.”
Jay Solomon, an Atlanta-area immigration attorney, who helps employers with the H-1B program.