Saturday, 7 April 2007

American H1 B visa shortage causes panic
Applicants for American Work Visa H1-B are facing an unusually tough situation this year.That is because the Congressionally mandated visa quota of 65,000 has already been exhausted with more than 200-thousand applicants filing their petitions in record time

The phones are ringing off the hook at the law offices of Joe Nesari. It is a nervous time for H1 B hopefuls. Around 2,50,000 H1 B applicants are fighting for a small visa quota that is just one fourth that number. Even seasoned attorneys like Jennifer Verghese are surprised at how quickly the quota filled up this year. Immigration Attorney Jennifer Verghese, says, "Never seen anything like this before. To give you a perspective, last year it took under eight weeks for the cap to be reached, this year one day. This was shocking to immigration experts all over the country".

So what triggered the sudden rush? Experts say, anticipating a shortage of visas for potential, it hires, many big companies like Microsoft and Oracle filed tens of thousands of applications. Calling for an increase in the Congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 visas, Oracle issued a statement saying.

For now the US Center for Immigration Services, or USCIS will use a random lottery system to pick visa recipients from a pool of applications received by Tuesday this week. The rest will be rejected.

Nobody knows for sure, but it could take the CIS weeks just to figure out how to draw the lottery. For now all that applicants can do is hope that they are one of the lucky ones.

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