ITAA to Congress: Speed up H-1B visa reforms

The Information Technology Association of America says the government’s system for granting H-1B visas to foreign specialty occupation professionals who want to work in the country for as many as six years "is misfiring and needs the immediate attention of lawmakers."

The ITAA said the government had reached the fiscal 2007 cap on H-1B visa petitions on May 26, nearly four months before the fiscal year begins.

As a result, the ITAA said, overseas technology professionals and other specialists who wish to work in the United States must now wait until next April 1 to file a petition for H-1B employment beginning October 1, 2007, the start of the fiscal 2008.

"Access to the world’s best talent and skills in an increasingly competitive global economy is a no-brainer," said Jeff Lande, ITAA senior vice president, in a statement.

"Congress needs to move quickly to pass legislation that raises the cap substantially and adds a mechanism that avoids these unfortunate shortfalls by allowing the number of annual visas granted to increase based on market demand," he said.

Current law caps the number of H-1B visas issued during a fiscal year at 65,000. But comprehensive immigration reform legislation now before Congress could raise that total to 115,000.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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