More Visas in 2023

Joe Guzzardi
4 min readMay 5


Bad News for U.S. Students, Tech Workers

A United Nations report predicted that India will surpass China with the dubious distinction of becoming the world’s most populous nation. India is projected to add 3 million more people by mid-year which will push its total population to 1.4286 billion, 2.9 million more than China’s 1.4257 billion. Another somber statistic that the UN included it its 2023 “State of the World Population Report” — by mid-year, global population will hit 8.045 billion.

Over the next decade, India’s working-age population, which today stands at more than 900 million, will hit and surpass 1 billion, according to 2021 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Indian government is bracing for the effect of too many people and too few jobs. India’s labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of the population that is either working or actively looking for work, stood at 46 percent, Asia’s lowest. China and the United States have, respectively, 68 percent and 62 percent labor participation rates.

The higher India’s population grows, the greater the pressure will be on India’s government to create jobs, a tall order since an ever-increasing number of Indians aren’t looking for jobs. The unemployed are convinced that opportunities are few, and the jobs that are available pay beneath sustenance wages. Asked to evaluate India’s dismal labor participation rate, and its population boom, Chandrasekhar Sripada, professor of organizational behavior at the Indian School of Business, said, “India is sitting on a time bomb,” and predicted social unrest if India can’t create enough jobs “in a relatively short period of time.”

President Joe Biden is doing his part in deepening the India labor crisis by committing to a brain-drain program that will issue more than 1 million visas this year to Indian nationals. Some will be F-1 student visas, while others will be temporary employment-based like the coveted H-1B, mostly for IT workers, and the L-1 visa designated for intra-company personnel transfers from international offices to U.S. domestic-based hubs.

Disappointingly, the Biden administration boasts about the huge influx of foreign nationals that will displace both prospective U.S. college students and existing U.S. tech workers. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu said: “We are on track to issue more than a million visas this year. This is a record for us along with a record number of student visas and immigrant visas.”

India has five U.S. Consulate and Embassy Offices; one in Hyderabad is prepared to issue 3,500 visas daily. The current 95 percent approval rate for F-1 visas for India represents a significant jump from 40 percent from 2015 to 2020. College admissions are competitive, and university administrators cynically prefer international students because the enrollment fees they pay are higher than what instate students pay. From 2009 to 2019, overseas student fees increased 42 percent.

Processing more H-1B visas is inconsistent with the existing U.S. labor market for IT workers. The industry is in the midst of a massive layoff cycle, with many of those fired being H-1B Indian nationals. Last year, Twitter, Tesla, Shopify, Microsoft and Netflix all cut staff, some of them more than once. In 2023, major companies like Amazon and Salesforce have already slashed their workforces.

Moreover, the 2023 H-1B visa lottery has just concluded, and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services selected 127,600 registrations which it defended as “projected as needed to reach the FY 2023 numerical allocations.” More H-1B visa workers will be coming to take well-paid white-collar jobs, if and when the layoffs end. Or, the tech industry could replace the fired workers with lower paid, younger, new visa employees, the industry’s well-established pattern.

The convoluted H-1B system is a dysfunctional mess. Imagine the lunacy — the federal government sanctions importing more foreign nationals even though the industry they’re destined to work in is firing people left and right, including overseas H-1Bs. The system functions well for corporations searching for cheaper labor, and it is a bonanza for foreign-born nationals eager to come to the U.S. But for U.S. tech workers, H-1Bs have been a 30-year ongoing nightmare.

Whether at the wide-open border or in the internal White House-directed D.C. bureaucracy, immigration is regulated to favor international citizens at Americans’ expense.

Joe Guzzardi writes about immigration issues and impacts.



Joe Guzzardi

Syndicated columnist Joe Guzzardi writes about American baseball history and immigration issues.