H-1B Quota Exceeded On First Day of Filing, AILA Issues Response

April 3, 2007
CONTACT: George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, DC, April 3 – Illustrating the inadequacy of the quota
for specialized H-1B workers, USCIS announced today that it received
more applications than the 65,000 limit on April 2. April 2 was the
first day on which an employer could request a first-time visa for an
H-1B worker for the period that begins on October 1, 2007. Agency rules
state that if the limit is reached on the first day of filing, all
applications received on the first two days are put into a lottery to
determine who gets the relatively few visas that are available.

In the fiscal year now in effect, the supply of such visas lasted
less than eight weeks after the filing period opened. For the fiscal
year that starts October 1, 2007, the supply did not last through even
the first day. “Every year, the application window becomes shorter and
shorter, to the point that it is now practically non-existent,” said
Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of the American Immigration Lawyers
Association. “These high-skilled workers help to keep our system
dynamic, and many sectors of the economy will suffer from this

The H-1B visa program is utilized by U.S. businesses and other
organizations to augment the existing labor force with foreign workers
in specialty occupations that require expertise in a specialized field.
Typical H-1B occupations include scientists, architects, engineers,
computer programmers, teachers, accountants, and doctors. H-1B workers
are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years,
which may be extended for an additional three years.

“This absurd situation illustrates the disconnect between current
immigration policy and the needs of our economy,” concluded
Tapia-Ruano. “The best way to resolve this crisis is for Congress to
pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure as soon as possible.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national
association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice,
advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance
the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and
enhance the professional development of its members.

For more information contact George Tzamaras at 202-216-2410 or Brooke Hewson at 202-216-2435

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