Survey of H-1B visa holders at Apple, other tech companies reveals complicated picture

OneZero conducted a 10,000-person survey in an attempt to shed light on the experiences of H-1B visa holders at Apple and other large tech companies.

Sarah Emerson for OneZero:

H-1B visa holder surveyEvery year, technology giants compete over H-1B visas, and the opportunity to sponsor foreign workers. For these employees, the visa can represent a path to residency, and can mean employment at some of the world’s most high-profile companies. But foreign laborers who enter the program also report feeling like an underclass, with stressful working conditions and discrimination due to their visa status…

In late 2019, OneZero commissioned a survey in partnership with Blind, an anonymous social networking app that’s widely used by technology employees, to understand the working conditions that H-1B recipients face. The survey ran for two weeks and drew responses from more than 11,500 workers from some of tech’s most notable companies… Employees at Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Uber, and Facebook accounted for a quarter of all feedback…

The responses are not a scientific representation of the technology industry as a whole. Rather, they lend a voice to, and shine a light on, a workforce that, according to OneZero data and interviews, can feel muzzled by the conditional nature of their employer-backed visas. They suggest that at some companies, H-1B holders are perceived as outsiders who, while benefiting from the industry’s high salaries and generous perks, are simultaneously hired at lower wages than their U.S. counterparts and are indentured to some of the world’s biggest technology titans.

The anonymous feedback indicates that H-1B workers hold overwhelmingly negative views of Trump’s immigration policies. One-third said they plan to remain in the U.S. after their visa expires. Some also believe they earn less than their peers, though many report having six-figure salaries. Between half and nearly 80% percent of H-1B workers at Amazon, Uber, Facebook, WeWork, and eBay indicated that they feel pressure to outperform their American colleagues. Meanwhile, tech workers not on H-1B visas express largely positive views about workers on H-1B visas.

MacDailyNews Note: There’s much more about this complex issue, including results from the survey of H-1B visa holders, in the full article here.

5 Comments

  1. The industry hires them because they are cheaper and then they cry because they are not paid as much as citizens. Give me a break. Your comment about Trump was a cheap shot and nothing to do with their real issue.

  2. Having been on a H1-B myself (then a Green Card and now US citizen), I personally think the process works well. Since then I have helped several talented individuals work in the US via H1-B and start their own journey to being citizens. In these cases, it was difficult to find skilled staff aswe compete with large Pharma and Biotech for these skill sets. Often our willingness to sponsor their visa was a key metric in hiring since we cannot compete on salaries (or benefits). I doubt that most people at the company know these employees are on H1 visas and there is no discrimination based on their visa status. The availability of H4 EAD work permits has also help with a tight job market, especially here in the Bay Area. There is a lot of concern for H1 visa families given that Trump wants to eliminate the H4 EAD. If that goes through, the impact will be increased hiring costs for new staff as we will have to raise salaries to compete with larger organizations that can afford better wages and benefits.

    1. Awe gee…let’s get out the little violins for these folks…How about all of the IT folks that trained their H1B replacements…and then found themselves out of a job!

      1. Those ‘trainers’ are not teaching them computing skills, they were hired because they already have them. Training consists of team building, ‘fitting in’, responsibilities, where to seek help or air concerns…you know, all the things ‘you’ would need to know if plonked in a totally foreign environment. It’s also next to impossible that they would hire say, an Indian to explain the complexities of life in the US. as a replacement.
        Having done an exchange job in the US, who already had UK/US dual nationality, had visited US family previously, it was daunting in those days, terrifying even. No help whatsoever was offered. “Toughen up and get on with proving you’re worth the wage” was the most sage advice I got once the novelty of a Brit in their midst wore off.
        How times change.

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