Offshore Outsourcing Firms, Microsoft Top the List for H-1B Foreign Guest Worker Visas

We have the new data for 2008 on H-1B. Computer World has published a searchable list of the top users of H-1B guest worker Visas.

Microsoft Corp. was the top U.S.-based recipient of H-1B visas in 2008, receiving approval for 1,037 visas, slightly more than in 2007. But the largest users of the program remain the major Indian offshore IT services firms -- and their use of H-1Bs appears to be increasing, according to government data.

The importance of the H-1B visa program to India-based outsourcers is clear from the fiscal 2008 approval list compiled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). That fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

They have a searchable list.

Laid off and your boss wants money from you

Well how about this. Seems the bean counters and the HR folks at Microsoft screwed up when they laid off some employees. Turns out they somewhat overpaid on those severance checks. Now the company is demanding that these terminated employees refund the company the money. A copy of the letters sent out to those employees can be found here.

Intel Microsoft Lay Off U.S. Workers While Demanding More Foreign Guest Workers

This is a pretty incredible report by CNET:

Microsoft said Monday it had no plans to change its position on H-1Bs.

Last year, when Bill Gates appeared before Congress, BusinessWeek reported that Microsoft had received 959 visa petition approvals, roughly "one fifth as many as Infosys (Technologies, the top participant), while Intel got 369."

When it reported its quarterly earnings last week, Microsoft announced plans to fire about 5,000 employees. A spokesman said that some of the employees let go held H-1B visas but declined to get more specific.

Intel, which last week announced plans to close two plants in the U.S., similarly said that layoffs resulting from the economic slowdown would not factor into the company's H-1B plans.

I also have to include this line, which should be geek quote of the week:

Corporations Who Lobby for Guest Workers Having Massive Layoffs

Here come the tech layoffs. Microsoft is laying off 5,000, including R&D engineers. Intel shuts 4 plants and lays off 6000, 1000 from Oregon alone.

Ebay will surely announce soon for their quarterly earnings dropped 31% and the largest garage sale in the world should be more recession proof.