Another $12/Hour Story — with an OPT Twist

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.


15 thoughts on “Another $12/Hour Story — with an OPT Twist

  1. Huh. Good to know about the OPT program. Optional Practical Training for students. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be for, right? Of course, as you pointed out above, the H-1B Visa is often misused.


    • To my knowledge, the only requirement for OPT is that the student be working in the field of his/her major. If the insurance agency hires someone with a Business major, the job would seem to qualify.


  2. Wow. Just wow. Norm you’ve come up with a lot of great examples of how the system is both corruptable and corrupted, over time, but this one takes the cake.

    It should not be lost on anyone that the offered wage in this case is only just slighly above the new California MINIMUM wage (for -zero- skilled workers) that’s set to take effect January 1.

    Next up: Chipotle ads for H1-B food service workers. Where will it end?

    And oh, by the way, how any living homo sapien could even possibly survive anywhere in the Bay Area on a mere twelve bucks an hour is beyond me.


    • That is what I’ve been trying to get people to understand.
      This temporary worker stuff will not stop with our high tech jobs.
      India alone has over a billion people that desperately want jobs.
      If just one third comes here, no American will ever work again.

      Already India is talking about taking us to the WTO because of the recent fees that have been tacked onto the LCA application process.

      This spreadsheet I created will show you which jobs are currently targeted.
      Keep in mind that this only shows the H-1B.

      The same thing needs to happen with the H-2B and Green Card data but I’m too overwhelmed with everything to focus on it.

      Another thing you need to understand.
      Just as tech workers like myself are getting forced into minimum wage jobs, so are the tech workers from India

      We must find a way to provide for the people of our World simply because it is apparent that jobs will become fewer and fewer in decades to come.


      • >>> because of the recent fees that have been tacked onto the LCA application process

        Contrary to the public perception/media narrative that Infosyses are to lose from the recent hike in fees, the US based ‘customer’ is billed that entire amount as part of the bidding process by the infosyses resulting in the US clients picking up the tab and it will not affect the bottomline of infosyses in any way. Even if the fee was hiked to 10k or 15k, the it will not affect the infosyses in anyway. Furthermore, the infosyses bill every US client the same amount if the same employee is transferred from one US client to another. ie., if a contractor is transferred between 2 clients in say 3 months, both the clients are billed the same LCA/H-1 fee. That way, the infosyses are in fact making a “profit” – More times they move their employee around, they get more money – And since *all* infosyses follow this practice, it’s part of the business model now.

        If its one of those dime-a-dozen sweat shops based out of US, the prospective ’employee’ is forced into paying that additional fee.

        Thus, taking us to WTO/Indian PM calling our president etc is all staged drama- Just to get some media coverage – Nothing more.


        • Basic economic principles imply that the Infosyses will feel it somewhere. But as everyone points out, the Infosyses and their clients save so much money in wages that the fee really won’t matter. I agree that there is a lot of playacting going on.


        • Agreed.

          But one other part that you did not mention is they will also charge it to their employees for the “right” to work in America just like they make them pay the other “fees” .

          They are raping their own people and displacing americans at the same time and nobody with any clout seems to be doing anything to expose it.


  3. Well, I am not sure if you are on Facebook. If you are look up h1 wiki page. It does mention the omnibus spending bill there. Plus the h1b guys at work mentioned it to me a few days ago before I saw it on FB.


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