Skip to navigationSkip to content

Visa applications show the incredible rise of immigrants’ Silicon Valley salaries

Golden gate bridge
AP Photo/Alex Menendez
Yet another lure.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Though the impressive salaries for engineers in Silicon Valley have been widely reported, it’s tough getting reliable firm-by-firm data.

Here’s one workaround for that: Companies are required to publicly disclose salary offers when they file labor condition applications (LCAs) on behalf of highly skilled prospective employees attempting to get H1-B visas. And now, a new, searchable database running back to 2001, created by Théo Négri and recently highlighted by Buzzfeed, shows which companies have filed on behalf of the most workers, and how much money they were offering.

It shows a decade of rising salaries in Silicon Valley, where these visas generally are obtained for highly skilled engineers. Note that the numbers provided reflect only base pay; they don’t include what can be extremely valuable stock grants and other bonus pay.

Google is one of the top filers, with 14,610 applications over the past decade. The salaries it has offered have risen sharply over the years. (The company raised employee salaries across the board by 10% in 2010, which you can see in the data.)

Facebook has filed far fewer applications in its shorter history (2,712 applications so far), but is also a very big spender. Apple has always paid pretty well, but it’s having to pay even more these days. Twitter, which has been around for less time than any of these companies, has seen pay rise as well:

But the company leading the pack in salary offers made to prospective employees from outside the US? Surprise: Netflix.

Among startups, Airbnb, like a lot of these companies, has a relatively small sample size at just 119 applications, but appears to pay pretty staggering salaries. (And again, this doesn’t include potentially valuable pre-IPO stock options.) Other startups are offering plenty of base pay, but not at the level of Airbnb:

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.