There are only 65,000 visas given for regular H-1Bs and 20,000 for holders of US Master’s Degree. As of July 09, only 24,800 regular petitions were filed and 10,600 US Master’s petition were filed. The reason for this slow filing is two fold.
Heading into a deeper recession, the economy is definitely a factor. Unlike what most people think, Companies would rather hire US workers, and not pay the $2320/- filing fees plus attorney’s fees.
However there are some professions which have a shortage in the US. That is true of computer professionals. But the computer professional market has been bruised by a poorly conceived and legally impermissible memo that CIS promulgated on January 08, 2010. The CIS is their infinite wisdom deemed that professionals need to be “controlled” directly by the petitioning company.
The IT business typically have contracts that go through tiers— from the petitioning company to the end user. The CIS thinks that this creates “job shop” a four letter word to them.
The Jan 08 memo is startling in how unconstitutional it is—- how it totally disregards the rule of law. The class action lawsuit against it will hopefully see the end of the memo. Meanwhile software companies are outsourcing their business elsewhere.
However if there is a contract using an intermediary, control can be shown if another employee of the same H-1B employer works for the end user and actually supervises the H-1B beneficiary.
For instance if Company A, the H-1B employer has a contract with Company F and Company F has a contract with the end user, Company Bigshot. If Company A has employee X who works for Big Shot too, who supervises employee Y, who is the beneficiary, then control can be established under the January 08 memo. Of course all companies have to provide a ton of document to prove the case.