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Window on H-1B Visas Slammed Shut

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Window on H-1B Visas Slammed Shut

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The US Citizenship and Immigration Service closed the windows on this year’s crop of temporary H-1B visa  yesterday, a week after it opened.

It’s refused to say for the moment how many applications it got but you can safely assume it’s a lot.

The cap is 65,000 visas for skilled workers (with a requisite bachelor’s decree) and an extra 20,000 for those with masters degrees and PhDs from US universities. Both are oversubscribed.

The process will now progress to a computer-based lottery to narrow the field.

The lucky few will be able to work in the US for six years starting October 1.

The Wall Street Journal remarks that demand seems unaffected by the economic slowdown unlike 2001 when visas went begging when the cap was 195,000, a number that was subsequently lowered despite complaints from high-tech leaders who say they are shipping jobs offshore to compensate for the shortfall. Oracle told the paper it’s got a thousand openings it can’t fill locally.

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