High-skilled visas snapped up in days

  • Updated: April 7, 2014 - 8:45 PM

Businesses seeking highly skilled workers from overseas took less than a week to snap up all 85,000 visas available for 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Monday.

The agency began accepting applications on April 1 for the 2015 fiscal year quota of the highly coveted H-1B visas, which are used for computer programmers, engineers and other skilled workers employed in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

It’s no surprise that the cap was reached quickly. That’s happened repeatedly in recent years and is a key issue that drove business executives to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform.

The far-reaching immigration bill that passed the Senate last year includes a major increase in H-1B visas along with other changes that would make it easier to bring skilled workers to the United States.

But that legislation stalled in the Republican-led House, so some high-tech leaders have recently made pleas to law­makers to at least increase the number of H-1B visas.

Associated Press

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