H-1B Visa Origins
The H-1B Visa is an immigration program that brings highly skilled workers into America when a shortage of those skills exists in the domestic labor market. The program came to life as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, under the George H.W. Bush administration. Although the program was temporarily suspended for 10 months under the Trump administration, this stoppage has since been lifted by Biden.
Though regulations permit specialized knowledge workers from various fields, it is primarily tech jobs that crowd these occupations. For instance, software developers and computer systems engineers/architects collectively cover almost 50% of all roles.
The H-1B visa is highly competitive. In fiscal 2021, program applications hit 275,000, a 15-year high. The program follows a lottery system where 85,000 applicants are selected at random. Today, that means a given applicant has about a 30% chance of getting in.
|Year||Number of Applicants|
Although the system is a lottery, the first 20,000 spots are reserved for those with a master’s degree or higher, so those holding a higher education tend to have improved odds.
Roughly two-thirds of applicants come from India. The large Indian presence exists in the sponsor companies list as well.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an IT services and consulting company, headquartered in Mumbai, India. In addition to being a top visa sponsor, they’re also among the top two US recruiters of IT services talent, an industry India thrives in. The company trades on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and hold a market cap of $160 billion (₹12 trillion).
America’s Immigration Question
Unlike some other immigration programs, the H-1B visa is not permanent, with a duration of stay between three to six years, contingent on maintaining employment. Should a termination occur, the person must leave the U.S. within the 60-day grace period.
America’s view on immigration can fluctuate over time, affecting application numbers in some cases, like for university and MBA programs. A 2020 poll showed that “the social and political climate in the U.S.” and “feeling welcome in the U.S.” were two growing factors for a decline in international students over the last few years.
But as of now, it looks like this sentiment hasn’t transferred over to H-1B Visa applicants and the program remains more attractive than ever.
Euro 2020: Qualified Nations and Past Winners
After a year-long delay, the 2020 UEFA European Championship is back with new rules, reduced spectators, and fierce competition.
The 2020 European Championship Returns with New Rules
After a year-long delay, the 2020 UEFA European Championship is set to kick off what will be the largest international sports tournament to take place since the pandemic.
While the final stage of the tournament typically takes place in one or two nations, this year’s will be played across 11 different countries.
Running from June 11th to July 11th 2021, the opening game between Italy and Turkey will kick off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, and the final will take place at London’s Wembley Stadium.
COVID-19’s Impact on Teams and Spectators
Aside from the initial year-long delay, COVID-19 has changed how teams and spectators will participate in the tournament.
Squads have been expanded from 23 to 26 players, and coaches will be permitted to call up more players if COVID-19 infections force players into isolation.
For spectators, individual stadiums within host cities have announced varying capacities ranging from 20-100%, with strict stadium entry requirements across the board. Since these capacities are pre-tournament estimates, we’ll have to wait until matchday to see how many ticket-holders are comfortable attending the fixtures in person.
|Host Stadium and City||Spectator Capacity|
|Johann Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam||25-45%|
|Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku||50%|
|Arena Națională, Bucharest||25-45%|
|Puskás Aréna, Budapest||Aiming for 100%|
|Parken Stadium, Copenhagen||25-45%|
|Hampden Park, Glasgow||25-45%|
|Wembley Stadium, London||Minimum of 25%|
|Football Arena Munich (Allianz Arena), Munich||Minimum of 14,500 spectators (~22%)|
|Stadio Olimpico, Rome||25-45%|
|Estadio La Cartuja, Seville||25-45%|
|Krestovsky Stadium (Gazprom Arena), Saint Petersburg||50%|
More Substitutions and the Video Assistant Referee System
This edition of the tournament will also feature two new rule changes to the action on the field.
Coaches will now be able to make up to five substitutions (six if the match goes to extra time), a change first introduced in domestic leagues to allow players more rest as match calendars became congested.
Another key change which was already in play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup is the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. This system appoints a match official who reviews the head referee’s decisions with video footage, and allows the head referee to conduct an on-field video review and potentially change decisions.
Strong Competition Among Euro 2020’s Favorites
Despite current world champions France remaining as undeniable favorites, bookies are putting England to win the tournament (despite a fairly young squad) partially due to the home field advantage in the semi-finals and final.
Spain, Germany, and Italy remain formidable competitors, and Belgium’s golden generation will have one final shot at silverware after their third place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
European champions Portugal are another obvious threat, as Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to become the tournament’s top goalscorer of all time (currently tied with Michel Platini at 9 goals).
While the 2020 edition of UEFA’s European Championship features a variety of on-field and off-the-field changes, the trophy truly feels up for grabs and is a welcome return to international football for fans around the world.
»Like this? Then you might enjoy this article, The Top 10 Football Clubs by Market Value
COVID-19 Vaccine Prices: Comparing the U.S. and EU
Compared to America, the EU has paid significantly less for a range of COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s a look at vaccine prices in each region.
Comparing COVID Vaccine Prices between the U.S. and EU
Over two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered around the world.
But the price governments have paid for the vaccine varies, depending on the region or country. Here’s a look at five major vaccine manufacturers, and their price per dose in the U.S. compared to the EU.
COVID-19 Vaccine Prices: Cost Per Dose
Generally speaking, the EU has paid significantly less than America for a range of COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer has the biggest price gap, with the U.S. paying 32.1% more per dose.
|Manufacturer||U.S. Price (per dose)||EU Price (per dose)||% Difference U.S. is paying|
|Johnson & Johnson||$10.00||$8.50||17.6%|
There are a few factors that might explain the price difference. One is early funding—Germany donated millions towards Pfizer’s development.
And while the U.S. did commit to purchasing hundreds of millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the country didn’t provide any funding for the vaccine’s actual development.
Moderna is the only vaccine on the list that is actually cheaper in the U.S., at $15.00 per dose. However, considering that Moderna’s CEO had initially predicted governments would be charged $25-$37 per dose, it looks like both the U.S. and EU managed to negotiate a good deal.
Immunity is the Biggest Cost Saver
At the end of the day, the cost of the vaccine itself is pretty insignificant compared to the economic and emotional toll of an ongoing pandemic.
For instance, a study out of Harvard University estimated the total economic cost of COVID-19 in the U.S. to be in the $16.1 trillion range.
»Want to learn more? Check out our COVID-19 information hub to help put the past year into perspective
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