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Beauty and the Geek: Lawmaker Wants Models Off Tech Visas

International geeks may be able to thank their beautiful counterparts for freeing up about 1,000 H1-B visas. Congressman Anthony Weiner, from New York, wants to end the practice of making foreign models and foreign hi-tech workers compete with each other for a limited number of work visas.

Rep. Weiner wants Congress to create a separate immigration class for models. Oh, and in case you were wondering — foreign supermodels such as Gisele Bundchen already qualify for super O-1 visas, those reserved for immigrants with extraordinary ability, like Nobel Prize winners.

Of course creating a Beautiful People Visa would not solve the HB-1 visa crunch. The 65,000 H-1B visas granted this year were snatched up in one day. Bill Gates told Congress last March that the tight controls force companies to outsource jobs overseas.

When companies, technology or fashion, set up global businesses they're likely to go where they can hire the best, brightest, and beautifulist. Should America do more to fight the brain and beauty drain?


Join The Conversation
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
i heard that weiner (ha weiner im sooo immature) wanted the models to get entertainment visas such as the ones actors use. did i miss something?
syako syako 9 years
I don't think that's legal AT ALL. Wage depression is a complaint critics have about the H-1B program: some studies have found that H-1B workers are paid significantly less than U.S. workers. It is claimed that the H-1B program is primarily used as a source of cheap labor. However the sources of these studies are normally conducted and reported by special interest groups that oppose the H-1B program. No definitive governmental study, either by the GAO or the Congressional Research Agency has proven these statistics to be true. -That's from wikipedia. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if people are abusing this. But it is interesting to note, that if my husband were living in Ukraine and working his job that he's doing now, he'd make about $200-$300 a month. (not saying that makes what companies might be doing right, but it's a good comparison, I think)
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
syako,there is also another side to this. One of my friends, who came over from India on an H1B visa to work for a large software company (which I will not name here) claims that the company pays the H1B workers lower salaries and doesn't have to offer them the same complement of benefits they do to American workers, so it saves the company money. Not sure if that is legal or not, but that seems to have been my friend's experience....
syako syako 9 years
It all goes back to attracting the brightest and most innovative people. The education that kids can receive in other countries, can exceed America's education by leaps and bounds. Hence Bill wanting them, along with the smart Americans. :)
janneth janneth 9 years
Thanks, Minday.
janneth janneth 9 years
Yes, that's it. Are there really no Americans that have the tech expertise he needs?
MindayH MindayH 9 years
janneth - a lot of times because of different technology used in different countries, we do not have people with the right experience that can do the work. Not because of skill, but because of different technology.
janneth janneth 9 years
Thanks, Sy.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Great explanation, syako. :) I think janneth wants to know why there aren't enough Americans capable of working for Bill Gates. If I'm mistaken, it's still an interesting question.
syako syako 9 years
janneth - there is only a certain alloted number of H1B visas. It is supposed to regulate the number of people coming in. In the past, the cap wasn't really a problem (meaning it wasn't difficult to get one), but now there are way more applicants for the visa than actual visas. Which means there's a lottery. So if I'm Bill Gates and I want some tech geek from another country, I can't just say come on over I'll give you a job. Bill would have to apply for the geek to get the visa, the geek would have to "win" the visa in the lottery and then said geek could come over, have a job, and a visa. Does that make sense?
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
i'm with you mindayH. why on earth are they in the same category? give me a break.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
It is disappointing that models clearly fall under the same criteria as the tech peeps. I am not as familiar with H1-B as I am with E visas and TN - but those require a college degree and that they are providing knowledge/information that people in the US can't. Although models are unique and have different things to bring to the shoot - there certainly are other people that can fill in if they can't come over, whereas technical knowledge isn't as easy to come by.
janneth janneth 9 years
Can somebody help me here? I am not anti-immigration, for sure. But being such an immense and populous and well educated country, why can we not provide enough tech workers for Bill Gates? What am I missing? Educate me.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Damn UnDave I didn't know you had it in ya.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
The year before that, my wife was 8 months pregnant, so I went as a priest, and she went as a nun. For some reason, they haven't invited us back to this ball since then...
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I went to a halloween ball two years ago in drag (my wife wore her cleric). I wore six inch spikes, and for the first time in our marriage, I was actually taller than she was.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
All I want to know is - does that model's outfit light up??
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Just to be clear UnDave we're not talking about mens business/dress shoes.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
UD does your wife know about this? Or is she into it?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Cab - I can walk in high heels. How can that be considered a talent? ;)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Cab honey you don't need to preech to the choir.
syako syako 9 years
You know it just sucks because there are so MANY smart people in U.S. universities who are on student visas who will have to go back home the moment they graduate because getting an H1B is so difficult and we just lose their talent and intelligence, but let's make it EASIER for models.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 9 years
unbelievable. but i guess if it were me, I wouldn't be complaining about privilege.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
hey hypno it takes TALENT to be starved and be able to walk.... in heels no less! :)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I can certainly see expediting the immigration of people in specialized fields; engineers, scientists, medical specialists etc. As for super models, HA! Extraordinary ability. For what? Looking pist off and throwing attitude while prancing.
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