H-1B visas and human capital

Management, Strategy and Innovation Professor Professor N. “Venkat” Venkatraman from the School of Management says this year’s 5 business-day scramble for temporary visas for foreign scientists and technology engineers is different this time around.

“It’s the beginning of the latest cycle of applications for H-1B visas for highly qualified foreign-born workers intending to work in the USA.  The number of H-1B visas granted each year is not large – 85,000 visas for a country of over 300 million people.  Yet, there are heated discussions and debates about them.

“This year many companies receiving stimulus money are prohibited from hiring such workers.  It’s interesting that we do not restrict the source of financial capital to rebuild our economy, yet we restrict the source of human capital – especially those highly-skilled workers wanting to work in the USA and contribute to the build-out of the new corporate landscape.

“We need to start treating human talent and capital in ways different from the Industrial Age practices, as the value of our products and services correlate more closely than ever before to the quality of our human capital.”

Contact N. “Venkat” Venkatraman, 617-353-7117, venkat@bu.edu

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