Over the years, critics of H-1B have spotted numerous cases of jobs ads that explicitly encourage applications from foreign workers seeking an H-1B visa, at absurdly low wages. But this one is far more informative than most.
In case the ad disappears soon, the title is
Team Member OPT, H1B Visa welcome
State Farm Agency Burlingame, CA
$12 an hour
Why is this ad different from all other H-1B-mentioning job ads? The answer is that this one also mentions OPT, which I will comment on below. But first, what kind of job is this?
The job requirements are vague, to say the least. The first item is
- Ability to learn and apply product, industry and market knowledge to make professional recommendations to prospects and policyholders and to satisfy insurance licensing requirements.
Given that the employer is described as a State Farm “agency” rather than State Farm itself, this ad appears to be aimed at hiring a plain old insurance agent.
There seem to be about a dozen State Farm agencies in Burlingame, a mid-Peninsula city in the San Francisco Bay Area, right next to the airport. It and nearby cities are greatly favored by immigrants from Hong Kong, and about half of the listed State Farm proprietors listed indeed have Cantonese-spelled surnames.
The possibility suggests itself that rather than being motivated by savings in wages (though always a draw, of course), the employer here simply wants to hire his nephew, or his girlfriend or some such situation. This does occur.
If that is the case here, of course, it would be fraud, at least for H-1B. But my understanding is that it would not be fraudulent for OPT.
But my point goes beyond that. I’ve explained before that if Congress enacts legislation that centers on the “Infosyses,” such as the Durbin-Grassley bill, the current Infosyses clients can simply hire OPTs. So, once again, OPT, currently under litigation, is key.