Bank of America has begun withdrawing job offers made to MBA students who require H1-B visas for employment, saying the restrictions in recent legislation require the move.
The recently passed $787 billion stimulus bill modified the requirements of financial firms that have taken government assistance, prohibitting them from applying for H1-B visas if they have recently laid off US workers.
A spokesman for the bank tells the Financial Times: “Recent changes in legislation made it necessary for Bank of America to rescind job offers it had made to students requiring H-1B sponsorship.”
Only 50 international students are thought to be affected by the BofA move. But there is concern at business schools that other banks will have to make similar moves. About a third of all MBA students taking jobs in finance typically come from outside the US.
Our gut reaction to the word that BofA was stripping the foreign MBA offers was that this was a good start on things and would be even better if expanded to MBAs in general. But that’s just our mean-spiritedness coming out.
In reality, Bank of America is probably relieved to have an excuse to rescind the offers. Banks are hesitant to rescind offers, afraid that the bad publicity will scare off future recruiting candidates. But with business down last year and this year, many are looking for ways to cut back. The H1-B restrictions give the bank the perfect opportunity to reduce new hires while blaiming the government. This is surely one reason that the normally vociferiously free-trading banks have kept mum about the H1-B issue.