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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
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.
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