Flake-Gutierrez could nearly triple H-1B visas
Posted Sat, Mar 24, 2007 at 9:33 am
[The Flake-Gutierrez amnesty] proposes to increase the annual cap on H-1B visas -- the visa most commonly used for foreign technology pros -- from the current ceiling of 65,000 to 115,000. The Strive Act also proposes increasing the limit up to 180,000 in subsequent years if the 115,000 cap is reached during a given fiscal year. In addition, the bill proposes exempting from the cap certain individuals who have earned an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math at U.S. schools... In the last several years, the H-1B cap has been hit months before the new fiscal year even began...And:
...Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, as the sole witness at a hearing on U.S. competitiveness, and called for an increase in the H-1B cap and an expedited green card process for highly skilled workers.
Compete America, a Washington-based group that includes IT vendors, trade associations and universities and is lobbying for an H-1B cap increase, today praised the visa-related provisions in the legislation introduced by Gutierrez and Flake.
Robert Hoffman, vice president of government and public affairs at Oracle Corp. and co-chairman of Compete America, said in a statement that the H-1B cap for fiscal 2008, which doesn't start until October, is likely to be reached next month. In light of that, "and with multiyear backlogs in all employment-based visa categories growing, it is imperative that meaningful reform occur this year," Hoffman said...