Immigration law firms around the country hurried to meet the April 5 deadline for filing H-1B visas, filing more visa applications than in recent years, and Philadelphia was no exception, according to a recent Newsworks report.
H-1B visas are for highly-skilled immigrants working at American companies and are capped at 85,000 and will be chosen by lottery this year. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators are working to raise this cap in a bill called the Immigration Innovation Act, as our sister site Technically Baltimore has reported.
One Philadelphia immigration lawyer said he filed twice as many H-1B visa applications than last year. The increase in visa applications could also be seen as a positive economic indicator, as the number of applications is getting back to “pre-recession levels,” as Newsworks put it.
“It is really tied to the economy,” said [immigration lawyer Jonathan] Grode. “Tech-heavy areas like California are filing a lot more H-1Bs, but our region has a tremendous amount of employers that utilize the H-1B program.
“Whether they’re tech-based or pharmaceutical-based, a lot of the science-technology-engineering-and-math positions that they offer, the candidates they get are not unanimously foreign nationals, but a high percentage of the people that apply are.”
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