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End H1-B visa curbs: Bill Gates
April 28, 2005 18:07 IST
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has said that the curbs on how many foreign workers US tech firms can bring into the United States should be done away with, according to news reports.
Gates said that he would eliminate the H1-B programme, which limits the number of visas companies can grant to skilled foreign workers, if he were king for a day and could make any changes to US policy.
Gates was participating in a Microsoft-sponsored discussion in Washington DC, about ways to drive US innovation and help the country compete with other nations.
"The whole idea behind the H1-B thing is, 'Don't let too many smart people come into the country.' The thing basically doesn't make sense. That's just wounding ourselves in this global competition," said Gates.
The Microsoft chairman pointed out that it is difficult to find enough qualified computer science applicants with the H1-B visa limit in place.
India and China produce the most number of math and science graduates -- far more than the US does -- and due to the visa restrictions many top IT brains often stay in their home countries.
Gates said that the US education system needed dramatic changes to overcome this problem.