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High demand for H-1B visas once again triggers lottery

While much of the discussion about the recent recession invariably focuses on the record number of foreclosures and the staggering losses to the average American's retirement accounts, it's important not to overlook some of its other effects.

To illustrate, consider that the recession caused demand for H-1B visas, which are sought by employers to fill positions for which qualified Americans cannot be found, to plummet a considerable degree.

Fortunately, as the economy has recovered, so too has the demand for H-1B visas. Indeed, for the last three years the demand has actually outpaced the supply of available visas, necessitating a lottery visa in which the coveted documents are awarded randomly via a computer-generated selection process.

In fact, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services indicated just last week that it took only five days for the number of applications for H-1B visas submitted to exceed the limit of 85,000 set by Congress, meaning that once again, a lottery will need to be held.    

While the idea that a lottery for H-1B visas would need to be held for a fourth consecutive year may seem surprisingly, the USCIS was actually expecting this result given the insatiable demand of not just the technology sector, but other fields like architecture and advertising.

It's worth mentioning that while the H-1B visa program has a large number of supporters, many of whom feel it should be expanded beyond its current limits, it also has its fair share of detractors. These parties argue that the program serves to facilitate the displacement of U.S. workers with cheaper foreign labor.

We'll continue this discussion in our next post, examining some of the requirements of the H-1B visa program.

Please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you have concerns regarding immigration matters relating to either employment or investment

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