TWiTfan writes: Indian engineers are looking forward to a proposed expansion of the U.S. H-1B visa program, as part of the new Immigration Bill currently being debated in Congress. The bipartisan legislation would increase the annual cap on the visas from 65,000 to 110,000, with the possibility of up to 180,000 per year, depending on demand and the U.S. unemployment level.
An Indian engineer profiled for the story, who tests software for casino slot machines, said “Americans with college degrees do not want to do such work and consider it low-grade.” An American consulting firm helped place him with a U.S. company and applied for a H-1B visa on his behalf. He was recently picked for a consulate interview from a pool of 124,000 other applicants this year. He has paid the U.S. consulting company more than $5,000 to handle the visa application process. He says he has a 50-50 chance of cracking the visa interview, which has become far stricter in the past three years because of irregularities in the way a few consulting firms maintained their files about engineers’ employment status.