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Demand For H-1B Employment Visas Sags

There is strong evidence that technology companies in the United States are beginning to increase their payrolls. Moody's Analytics conducted research that says high tech companies in the U.S. added 47,000 new jobs in the first three quarters of 2010. That compares to a drop of 46,000 jobs in 2008, and 196,000 jobs lost in the sector in 2009.

Despite the apparent uptick in high tech job creation, demand for employment visas under the H-1B visa program seems to be on the decline. Florida employment immigration attorneys note that an H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows United States employers to hire foreign workers in a vast array of specialty occupations.

Immigration officials say the demand for H-1B visas is lagging compared with the last few years. Each April, the U.S. government authorizes 65,000 standard H-1B visas. In 2008, all 65,000 visas were accounted for within one week. In 2009, the quota was filled by December, a much slower rate than was seen in 2008.

As of mid December, immigration officials say that more than 11,000 standard H-1B visas remained available under the program. That is nearly 20 percent of the standard 65,000 visas authorized each year.

H-1B visas are popular in the high tech sector, according to experts. H-1B visas, however, are available in many disciplines, from law to education to physical and social sciences to architecture to name a few.

In addition to the standard H-1B visa, the government authorizes a quota of an additional 20,000 H-1B visas each year, which are intended for foreign workers with advanced degrees. As of December, immigration officials say 300 of the advanced degree H-1B visas remained unclaimed.

Source: Boston Globe, "Demand lagging among tech firms for H1-B visas," Hiawatha Bray 1 Jan 2011

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