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H-1B backers lose budget round

Posted: 23 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:high-tech visa? H-1B?

An effort to increase the number of high-tech visas available to U.S. employers failed Wednesday (Dec. 21) when Congress dropped the provision from a massive spending bill.

The Senate had earlier approved a measure that would have increased the number of H-1B visas and employment-based "green cards" available next year. U.S. high-tech companies had sought the increase after the entire fiscal 2006 allotment of H-1B visas were gone by August 2005. Supporters said the backlog of green card applicants is also growing.

The Senate plan would have required companies participating in the H-1B to pay processing and other fees that would have generated an estimated $300 million for the U.S. treasury.

But the measure was stripped from the budget reconciliation package approved by Congress on Wednesday.

"The system is broken and must be fixed," claimed Sandra Boyd, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers and chairwoman of the lobbying group Compete America. "We will expect these issues to receive serious consideration by the appropriate committees early next year."

EE Times

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