Cost of visa application is not the thing. Uncertainty and delay is the thing.Temp work permits to the US (H1Bs, good for 6 total years with renewal) are number-limited to 65000 per year. In reasonably good economic times this means that the available permits are exhausted the first day that applications are open (in April, for permits starting in October). The applications are put into a hat and 65k are pulled out (it is a total lottery). Many of the available permits are taken by companies like Infosys, who don't care which of their workers get through (they submit thousands of applications and simply need X total to do low-level IT work). Meanwhile, a company hiring a high-value worker for a specific position is essentially screwed if their guy misses the lottery. And even in the best case scenario they have to wait at least six months (from April to October) and possibly more (if it's before April they have to wait until April to apply; if their guy misses the lottery they have to wait until the next April). So you're looking at a process with enormous uncertainty and huge delays between hiring decision and start of work.