SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Silicon Valley venture capitalist Venky Ganesan this week sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, saying he hoped the Republican’s administration would support the H-1B visa program and the new “startup visa” program curated by the Obama administration.
“If we want to revive the American economy and add more good jobs, there is no reason why America shouldn’t tap the skills of foreign professionals to help us do so if we’re not undermining U.S. workers,” Ganesan said. “And we are not. There is a shortage, not an oversupply, of qualified STEM workers in America.”
Ganesan, who serves as a managing director of Menlo Ventures and the chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, said both programs serve to keep the American economy competitive. The programs allow companies to hire the top talent from overseas, and also helps foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in the U.S.
Critics of the programs say companies — mostly in the tech field and largely located in Silicon Valley — pay H-1B holders less than they would American colleagues, depressing the wages industrywide. The U.S. issues 85,000 H-1B visas per year.
Highly regulated, companies participating in the H-1B program are not allowed to pay their holders less than prevailing industry wages. At companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft the median salary for H-1B holders in 2015 was $135,000.
The startup visa program has similarly stringent requirements, including raising money from qualified American investors and “significant public benefit to the United States.”