LinkedIn CEO: Let US Companies Bring In More Overseas Employees

jeff weinerLinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

Photo: Flickr/The DEMO Conference

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and the company’s chairman, Reid Hoffman, took the stage today at the D10 Conference.Weiner weighed in on the controversy over the H1B visa, which tech companies love. It lets US companies temporarily bring in workers with special skills, like engineers.

Some labour groups say that the visas are being abused, allowing companies to bring in less expensive talent from elsewhere instead of hiring a US citizen for the same job.

So the US caps the number of these visas it will issue. In 2012, for instance, the US allowed 65,000 H1-B visas, plus another 20,000 to people who have earned a master’s degree in the US.

Weiner told the audience: “Free the H1B. Roughly 40 per cent of the Fortune 500 was founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.”

There are a lot of tech companies that agree. Microsoft has been lobbying the US for years to raise the cap.

UPDATED: We were told the quote from Weiner we originally published was not exactly what he said and have adjusted it to now say  “immigrants or the children of immigrants.”

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