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Applications for H-1B visas far outstrip availability

Georgia residents may be interested to learn that based on figures released for fiscal 2016, there have been nearly three times as many applicants for H-1B visas as there are spaces available. The H-1B visa is designed for professionals in computer programming, engineering and science, and the visas are granted by a lottery system.

There are 233,000 applicants for 85,000 visas. Many companies and organizations say these restrictions inhibit economic growth in the United States. Compete America, a coalition of tech companies, says the country loses half a million jobs annually as a result of the restrictions.

President Obama made efforts to broaden immigration in 2014, but without congressional support, there are limits to what can be accomplished. His reforms did make it easier for foreign students to stay on temporarily to work and eased immigration for entrepreneurs. However, the director of one lobby group said that employers were frustrated with their inability to hire skilled foreign workers for certain positions.

Individuals who are seeking an H-1B visa or another type of visa for employment or entrepreneurship in the United States may wish to consult with an attorney. Immigration law is complex and rapidly changing, and an attorney might be able to suggest alternatives. For example, individuals could be eligible for certain types of visas that they are unaware of.

Employers who wish to hire a foreign national may also wish to speak with an attorney. An attorney may be able to offer guidance regarding the best way to sponsor a foreign employee.

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