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2016 applications for H-1B visas at record high

The government has issued a record number of H-1B visas for fiscal year 2016, according to figures released recently. The number of work permits that will be granted to foreign employees in the areas of science, engineering and computer programming will total 233,000. Pennsylvania businesses that rely on talent from around the world to work in highly technical fields will benefit from the increased number of visas available for foreign workers.

Congress limits the number of work visas available to 85,000 per year, with 20,000 reserved for those who hold master's degrees or better. Technology companies have been lobbying for several years for Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas granted each year in order to allow them to hire overseas talent. The current limit requires the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to use a computer-generated lottery system to choose who will be granted work visas.

Last year, the president attempted to ease immigration rules using executive authority and bypassing Congressional approval. However, this move has not eased the disappointment of those in the technology industry who believe that the program largely benefits entrepreneurs but does little to help businesses that wish to hire larger numbers of talented and highly-trained employees.

Individuals who are interested in obtaining an employment-based visa or who are having difficulty with their current visas may benefit from the help of an immigration attorney. An immigration lawyer could assist those who are struggling to understand complex federal regulations or who need an advocate to speak for them during the legal immigration process. With the help of an attorney, those who are seeking answers to complicated immigration issues may be able to resolve these problems and enjoy the benefits of working in the United States.

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