H1-B Visas

By  | 

The annual quota for applications for the H-one-B visa program has already been reached, U-S immigration officials say.

The popular visas are granted to foreigners in specialty professions such as architecture, engineering, medicine and computer programming.

Congress set a cap of 65-thousand such visas per fiscal year. The new fiscal year began Friday, and Citizenship and Immigration Services received enough applications that day to meet the limit.

Under the program, U-S employers must pay foreign workers the prevailing wage for their job fields and show that qualified U-S workers are not being passed over.

Unions and other critics say the program allows businesses to fill jobs with cheaper foreign labor. But those that use the program say they can't find enough Americans with the necessary math, science and engineering skills.