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|July 27, 1998||
US to raise H-1B visa cap
C K Arora in Washington
The US proposes to raise the number of visas for foreign software professionals. This will benefit India, which has a large pool of highly skilled technical labour.
India provides the largest number of skilled foreign workers to the US under
China followed with 9 per cent, Britain 5 per cent, and the Philippines and Canada 3 per cent each.
US Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a bill to increase the number of foreign computer programmers, engineers and other skilled workers who can be admitted to the US to fill job openings at high-technology companies.
The agreement envisages an increase in the annual number of such visas from 65,000 at present to 115,000 over three years, marking an increase of 77 per cent.
High-tech companies and their chief executives, including Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation, have lobbied heavily for the increase in quota, says The New York Times. The US industry suffers from shortages of qualified employees and they desperately need skilled foreign workers to help develop new products.
The agreement will provide 20,000 additional visas this year, for a 1998 total of 85,000. It would raise the annual limit to 95,000 next year, 105,000 in 2000 and 115,000 in 2001.
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