What do models and techies have in common? At the outset, not very much, likely to most geeks’ chagrin.
Yet, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a bachelor who has been linked in the tabloids to several high-profile, beautiful women, has introduced a piece of legislation that would move foreign models’ visa class from the H-1B visa to the easier-to-obtain P visa. In their current category, models compete with thousands of IT professionals and the large tech companies that lobby to get them into the country. In the P class, they’ll be in the company of entertainers and athletes.
Given that in the last few years the U.S. government has been overwhelmed with applications for H-1B visas (there are 65,000 available each year, with an extra 20,000 for foreigners with advanced degrees in STEM fields), Weiner is likely to make friends at Microsoft and the large tech consortiums that are rooting for an H-1B increase.
However, the likelihood of the proposed change in category for models alleviating the squeeze on H-1B visas seems low, given that only 349 models received H-1B visas in 2007 and the most given to models in any given year is about 800.