Bay Area software firm will move work to China because of ‘stupid and self-defeating’ H-1B visa cap

Software company CEO Colin Earl has been running his business in the Bay Area for nearly a quarter century — and now he’s poised to move jobs to China because the limit on specialized H-1B visas for skilled workers is making it impossible to find the talent he needs, he says.

“Words fail me for how stupid and self-defeating it is to turn away the talent we need to grow our economy,” said Earl, CEO of Agiloft, the Redwood City software firm he founded in 1992.

Agiloft CEO  Colin Earl (courtesy of Agiloft)

“Technology firms in the United States rely upon being able to bring world-class talent together to do the delicate work of creating and running innovative firms.”

Visas under the controversial program — which has received black eyes over alleged abuses by Disney, UC San Francisco and Southern California Edison — are capped at 85,000.

That restriction creates a “faux scarcity” of talent in Silicon Valley, Earl said.

So he’s looking overseas for the workers he needs. Agiloft plans to open an operation in China — headed by a current employee who will likely have to go back there because his U.S. work visa will soon expire.

“I am not doing this because I wish to shift jobs overseas,” Earl said.

“I hate having to manage remote employees and deal with different time zones, and the vast majority of our employees are still local, but I simply cannot find more of the people I need here in America, let alone in Silicon Valley.”

Agiloft, he said, has had some job postings open for more than a year, positions Earl described as “well-paying jobs with medical, dental, paid vacation, stock options, 401K, etc.

“But we just cannot fill them.”


Photo: Asif Siddique goes through a pile of papers containing his visa and other immigration documents in July 2000. He has been working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa but his visa expired before he was approved for a green card. (Meri Simon/Bay Area News Group)



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  • Techie

    Go ahead and move to China, who need you. just lies lies lies. you don’t see how many American high tech workers being penalized by H1B.

    • Aaid

      Exactly. Harming American IT workers is how he got rich and he certainly doesn’t want any changes now.

  • sfsoma

    There is no such thing as a private corporation in PRC. Anything and everything could be taken from anyone, especially foreigners, by the government at any time. Bye, Bye scumbag.

  • Virgil Bierschwale

    of course you can fill them – you just refuse to use americans in america.

    There are all kinds of unemployable americans out there.
    Their crime?
    They are over 45.

    here is a good place to start looking.

    • Om Prakash

      Good luck you white trash scumbag. Tech jobs are for Indians and Indians alone to take. If the H1-B visa is not there all the jobs will just move to Asia.

  • noh1bvisas

    buh bye. don’t let the door hit you on the bum on the way out.

  • DonnaConroy

    These are the jobs Agiloft is attempting to fill on their website. This company doesn’t want to follow EEO employment laws. They should be leaving this country!

    Administrative Assistant, Analyst/Implementer, Implementation Team Manager, Junior System Administrator, Marketing and PR, Partner Development Associate, Project Manager, Sales Engineer

  • I Just checked out Agiloft online (, and they really don’t seem to be doing anything on the bleeding edge of technology. They look like just another mundane business services company that would not be missed if they disappeared from our economy.
    The following link shows the pitiful pay rate $65,200) Agiloft offers its H-1b workers in a high-wage area of California. (Hint: They’re obviously not hiring for skill.)

  • Jay

    Good riddance from such a useless company. He wants H1B slaves that can work for him 24×7 for minimum wage. Well that ship has sailed. Obummer is gone and the MAGA man is in.

  • Plenty of tech workers from UCSF and Disney who were laid which he could have hired.

  • John Miano

    For a little laugh, take a trip to the H-1B disclosure data. For last year we find two Labor Condition Applications for Agiloft. Both are for Management Analyst and both with a wage of $65,200.00. Then go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data and we find that median wage for that position in Agiloft’s location is $119,038. So the company want to pay 54% of the median wage for H-1B workers and claims it cannot find Americans. Enjoy working in China. We won’t miss you a bit.

  • Rodney Roberts

    There is plenty of STEM talent in the U.S. Refer to Economic Policy Institute briefing paper 359. The STEM shortage is a myth invented by Corporate America and peddled by Political Action Committees (PACs) to Congress. Congress then ignores the facts, PACs thank Congresspeople with political contributions.

  • tenminutetokyo .

    India Incs are looting US jobs. This article smells like a paid NASSCOM paid PR stunt.

    For more information on Indian organized crime, visit:

    India Incs only hire 100% Indians.
    India Incs steal American resumes and put Indian names on them.
    India Incs have fake degrees and fake resumes.
    India Incs hire 100% Indian workers with no skills and ask Americans to train them.
    India Incs are targeting Americans in jobs for layoff.
    India Incs takeover companies built by Americans.
    India Incs steal trade secrets & send them back to India.
    India Incs are organized crime in America.
    India Incs damage American interests.

    Where is the EEOC? Where is ICE & DHS? Why aren’t India Incs raided for fraud and organized crime?

    • Om Prakash

      And India inc’s will destroy the white race by mixing their seeds. We plan to make the whole world as a Hindu and there is nothing you can do about it. Yes we takeover American companies because we can and we will. We have the cash to buy off any American politician including your president who’s an Russian stooge. I’ll say that again you white trash crack head, leave the tech jobs to the Hindus or you’ll pay a big price. STEM job in the US are only for brown Hindus. If you honkies have a problem we’ll just leave America. I’m sure Europe will take you back, edn though whites will be minority in Europe as well. Ireland and Portugual are already dominated by the Hindus.

    • Mark

      Yup, entire STEM functions in some of America’s largest corporations are approaching 100% Indian ethnicity as of this point. Meanwhile their HR departments (or what’s left of them) receive hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications per job from qualified Americans.

  • StopTheLies

    Time to pack your bags and say goodbye Mr Earl. Buh bye.

  • annjohns

    can anyone find his job posting?

    • Mark

      If this guy was really interested in finding Americans, articles like these should basically include his personal cell phone number, or at least the contact of someone in the HR function in his business that can be engaged.

  • Perturbed Pundit

    While lobbying Congress for more H-1B visas, industry claims H-1B workers are the “world-class talent”. Come payday, however, they’re entry-level workers.

    The GAO put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the US Dept. of Labor as those who are “fully competent” [1]. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they’re experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

    So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing “world-class talent” is meaningless), or they’re looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry-level pay scale. In my opinion, companies are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35 [2], especially those at the Level I and Level II categories.

    Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (remember – the vast majority of H-1B visas are granted for computer-related positions). In fact, according to their survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2% [3][4].


    [1] GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM – Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program
    [2] Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014
    [3] NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey
    [4] NACE Salary Survey – September 2014 Executive Summary

    • Jessica Rothhaar

      Thank you for providing this badly-needed context, Perturbed.

  • Mark

    As it stands, top grads can’t even get job interviews in the Silicon Valley, and large amounts of American talent goes to waste because employers, like the guy named here, refuse to pick up the phone, and interview/hire with good faith. UC Berkeley and Cornell cannot substantiate more than 1/3rd of their graduates in STEM being able to find post-graduation jobs. The H-1B visa needs to be cancelled so that qualified Americans can get back to work!

    • Adam

      The average UC Berkeley student received 2 job offers.

      • Mark

        But somehow they can only substantiate 1/3rd of them actually finding jobs.

      • Aaid

        How many offers does the Indian with the phony master’s degree get?

  • Mark

    BTW, the employer here can import all the truly best and brightest foreign workers he wants. He just has to use the O-1 visa to bring them in, rather than the H-1B. Shouldn’t be a big deal if he’s really looking for top-notch talent, now should it?

  • Aaid

    After enjoying all the cheap indentured Indian labor it wanted for 17 years, SV just can’t stand the thought of interviewing and hiring Americans again. What a concept.