Monday, April 16, 2007

Project: Guestworker Impact on U.S. Computer-related occupations 2000-2005

revised 4/20/2007
revised 12/3/2008

After several years of research, I cannot find (H-1B and L-1) guestworker impact studies on my former career in Computer Information Systems. I have never come across a study, or publication that examines the monetary impact of the H-1B, L-1 guestworker, and the subsequent Employment based (EB-2 & EB-3) green card programs have had on Computer-related occupations.

The H-1B, L-1 (intracompany) guestworker and the EB-2, EB-3, green card programs are similar in the fact that they are all employment based. The various government reporting formats are diverse, direct comparison of the data is difficult; I infer that it is reasonable to assume that statistical averages taken from one category will be relevant to each of these similar categories unless government documents indicate otherwise -- as is the case with the L-1 intracompany visa.

From the H-1B visa data, I found a 6 year average for continuing employment approvals, my assumption is that L-1 continuing employment approvals will mirror the H-1B continuing employment approval rate. This assumption is required because the 2000 - 2005 continuing employment approval data is not readily available for L-1 visa-holders.

The Employment Based Preference (EB) visa data is reported with spouses and children included in the totals; the L-1 (workers) and L-2 (spouses and children) categories are used to determine an average population of spouses and children. The averages of spouses and children are applied to the EB-2 and EB-3 green card LPR data to determine the number of workers in the EB program .

Finally, the duration of the three foreign worker programs are similar. The H-1B visa is a 3 year visa with a single 3 year extension, the L-1B visa (worker) is a 3 year visa with a single 2 year extension and the L-1A (supervisor) is a 3 year visa with two 2 year extensions allowed. The L-1 visa usage is reported to be about 50/50 (See "L-1B overtakes L-1A" in the OIG L-1 report.) so I've averaged the two visas at six years ((7+5)/2)=6 years.

The employment based, EB-2 and EB-3 legal permanent resident programs require a 5 year LPR probation status before granting the green card. Many non-immigrants, who are adjusting status to the EB visa, are granted numerous single year extensions beyond the H-1b and L-1 duration limits while awaiting a "priority date." I've allowed this "fuzzy" sixth year between the non-immigrant and EB visa in the study to maintain parity with the 2000 - 2005 six year sample.

Note: This study separates Employment based EB-2 and EB-3 "new arrivals" from those who are "adjusting status" from another visa category. Published studies demonstrate that employment based non-immigrant visa programs have caused a backlog of 500,000 workers in the EB PERM program; many of the truly "brightest and best" cannot migrate directly into the green card program and will not subject themselves to non-immigrant indenture.


Continuing Employment (H-1B factor): 97.52%

The H-1B continuing employment approvals over actual H-1B visas issued. Visa counts offer a more accurate representation of H-1B guestworkers in the population than H-1B Initial employment approvals.)

(Continuing employment H-1B approvals \ H1-B visas issued)

Non-Continuing Employment (H-1B factor): -2.48%

The percentage of initial H-1B visas which are not renewed.

-1*(1- (Continuing employment H-1B approvals \ H1-B visas issued))

L-2 Spouses/Children factor: -49.07%

The "L-2 Spouses/Children factor:" is used to subtract a proportionate number of spouses/children from other categories where the raw data does not differentiate workers from spouses/children.

(The L visa category is reported as L-1 (Workers) and L-2 (Spouses and children), the six year average of the L category is used to determine the rate (ratio) of immigrating workers to spouses/children.)

-1*(L-2 spouses&children / (L-1 workers+ L-2 spouses&children))

H-1B Computer-related approvals: 46.43%

The six year average (2000-2005) of continuing employment petition approvals for the H-1B, "Computer-related occupations" category.

(Computer-related H-1B approvals \ H-1B approvals)

L-1 Computer-related statistic: 90%

From 1999 to 2004, nine of the ten firms that petitioned for the most L-1 workers were computer and IT related outsourcing service firms that specialize in labor from India.

End Assertions:

Excel Workbook Rollup worksheet:

2005 BLS Computer Related Payroll Jobs = 2,855,320

H-1B Guestworkers & continuances:

H-1B 2000-2005 initial approval visas issued = 783,546
Non-Continuing Employment (H-1B factor): = (-19,432 )
H-1B 2000-2005 Continuing Employment Approvals = 764,084

Total H-1B visa 6 year accumulation = 1,528,198

L-1 (Intracompany) visas & continuances:

L-1 2000-2005 Visas Issued = 356,471
The Non-Continuing Employment (H-1B factor): = (-8,854)
Continuing Employment (H-1B factor): = 347,617

Total L-1 visa 6 year accumulation = 695,234

Employment Based Preference EB-2 & EB-3 new arrivals:

Total visas issued 2000 - 2005 = 131,875
L-2 Spouses/Children factor: (49.07%) = (-64,704)

Total EB-2 & EB-3 visa 6 year accumulation (new arrivals) = 67,171

Legal Permanent Residence EB-2 & EB-3:

Total LPR granted EB-2 & EB-3 (2000-2005) = 682,550
Subtract EB-2 & EB3 visas new arrivals (2000-2005) = (-131,875)
EB category LPRs granted to other than EB entrance visas = 550,675
L-2 Spouses/Children factor: (49.07%) = (-270,216)

Total EB-2 & EB-3 visa 6 year accumulation (non entrance visa) = 280,459

Computer-related immigrant workers in Workforce:

H-1B approvals 2000-2005 (46.43% of 1,528,198) = 709,527
OIG report L-1 petitions Computer related (90% of 695,234) = 625,710
Employment Based Preference new arrivals (46.43% of 67,171) = 31,187
Adjusted status EB-2 & EB-3 - LPR (46.43% of 280,459) = 130,217
Total Computer-related immigrant workers = 1,496,641

Percentage of Computer-related Payroll labor force:
H-1B = 24.85%
L-1 = 21.91%
EB-2 & EB-3 using E visas = 1.09%
Non E entrance visa on EB-2 & EB-3 LPR = 4.56%

2005 Percentage of Computer Related non-citizen workers: = 52.416%
Salaries @ $55,000.00 (H-1B 2005 median): = $ 82,315,252,278.80 per yr.


H-1B Visa:

L-1 & L-2 Visa:

Non E visa vs Legal Permanent Resident EB-2 & EB-3:

There are various classifications for entrance visas in the Employment based preference. This report separates Employment based, new arrivals and LPRs granted to display that the EB visa is no longer primarily used as the entrance visa -- the majority of EB visas are adjustments of status from non-immigrant categories.

BLS Computer Related Payroll report: (May 2005)
Occupation (SOC code)
Computer and Information Scientists, Research(151011)
Computer Programmers(151021)
Computer Software Engineers, Applications(151031)
Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software(151032)
Computer Support Specialists(151041)
Computer Systems Analysts(151051)
Database Administrators(151061)
Network and Computer Systems Administrators(151071)
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts(151081)
Computer Specialists, All Other(151099)

Additional H-1B program information:
USCIS Approval of H-1B Petitions Exceeded 65,000 Cap in Fiscal Year 2005

Additional Employment Based Preference:

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