US May Move to Restrict H-1B Visa 'Cheaters'

Demand for skilled labor will fuel another application rush
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 8:11 PM CST
US May Move to Restrict H-1B Visa 'Cheaters'
"We've got a year's worth of pent-up demand," said one immigration attorney, he said there are employers keeping employees offshore because they can't get the visas, as well as college graduates who may be continuing their education because they couldn't get a visa.   (

The US is expecting a record number of applications for H-1B visas—given to highly skilled, specialized foreign workers—and is considering rules to penalize companies that try to improve their chances, ComputerWorld reports. Desperate firms have been known to send more than one application—123, 480 were received last year; 65,000 are awarded—for the same individual to increase odds of being selected.

"We are looking at possible remedies to make sure that no one is able to game the system," said a rep for the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. It is suspected that companies falsely submitting multiple applications will have all their efforts voided. The politically sensitive issue is likely to surface Wednesday, when H-1B proponent Bill Gates is to testify before a House committee. (More visa stories.)

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