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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

H1B Visa Quota Exhausted In Half-A-Day :Amazing!!!

Forbes reports that the immigration service has stopped accepting visa applications from employers hoping to hire skilled foreign workers, one day after it started the once-a-year process of accepting the forms.The agency began accepting petitions Monday for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 and said it received about 150,000 applications by mid-afternoon. Congress allows for 85,000(including all special quotas) of the H1B visas to be issued yearly. The limit is almost half of what the US used to provide 2/3 years back. Employers seek more temporary visas for skilled workers, contending that the economy needs the workers. Bill Gates amongst other other leaders slammed the reduced visa quota policy calling for limitless visa's to be extended for skilled professionals. The agency said it will use computers to randomly pick visa recipients from the applications received Monday and Tuesday. It will reject the rest of the applications and return the filing fees. This process, it says may take several weeks, given the high volume of applications received. This development may also hurt the offshore players, some of whom are affected by the currency fluctuations. This is not a good development for US based employers as well, given that salary levels would rise further. Time to review this program in its entirety - given that beneficiaries pay the fed taxes and contribute to the american economy directly.

Update : The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) has called for congressional reform of the visa process after the announcement by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that it has reached its cap on H-1B visas for the 2008 fiscal year.“The continued leadership of the U.S. technology industry is dependent on the ability of American companies to hire highly educated, highly skilled workers,” said Ken Wach, SIIA President. “The USCIS announcement that it met the cap on H-1B visa petitions on the first day of eligibility is further evidence that the current visa allotment system is broken. If Congress does not take action to reform the system, the global competitiveness of many American companies will be threatened.”

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