FROM THE WEB: ‘Silicon Valley faces visa scramble for foreign workers’ – FT


The Financial Times recently published an article about Silicon Valley tech companies facing problems securing US work visas for foreign employees.

In April, the application process for H-1B visas – the most popular way for skilled non-US citizens to acquire a work permit – begins.

The quota for the year is 85,000, but as immigration attorneys and company executives say, it is exceedingly difficult to secure a work permit for all skilled workers they recruit. 

FT reporter Sarah Mishkin talks to Shayan Zadeh, founder and CEO of Zoosk, who said: “The supply [of tech workers] just doesn’t meet the demand right now.”

Iranian born Zadeh had to cross the border from Iran to Turkey, hitchhiking part of the way, to submit his visa application at the US embassy.

Zoosk’s founder said the company is trying to secure visas for three or four candidates for their engineering and marketing teams.

Zadeh said that the uncertainty of the visa allocation process – visas are given out by lottery – presents a greater challenge to managers.

He said: “If you’re not lucky, you lose the talent you’re trying to recruit”.

Mishkin says some US-only companies are considering opening offices abroad, hiring people there, then relocating them back to the US on a visa for transfers of existing employees.

The article says fierce competition between companies for skilled workers has caused salaries to rocket – with Twitter interns gaining more than $6,000 a month, according to data collected by Glassdoor.

Read the article here.