The omnibus spending bill has passed, and with it an increase of 20,000 to the H-1B cap. The increase is called an exemption, but in effect it raises the yearly cap from 65,000 to 85,000. There are large numbers of foreign graduates waiting for a visa so they will be hitting the U.S. job market very quickly.
Statement By President Bush on the Fiscal Year 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement issued today by President Bush:
I commend the Congress for reaching agreement on the fiscal year 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This legislation is in keeping with my goal to further strengthen the economy by cutting the budget deficit in half over five years. With resources already provided to continue to fight the war on terror and to protect the homeland, we have held to the fiscally responsible limits Congress and I agreed to and still adequately funded our domestic priorities like education, health care, and veterans' programs. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the excellent work of the Leadership and Appropriations Committee chairmen of both the House and Senate. I look forward to signing a final bill into law.
Here's some good news for H-1B visa seekers. The US Congress has just cleared a legislative measure throwing up an additional 20,000 of these coveted work visas.
But there is one important caveat. The new visas will be reserved for foreign students passing out of American universities with master's or doctorate degrees.
Also, the annual cap will remain at 65,000. The proposed H-1B visas for up to 20,000 eligible foreign students will be treated as an exemption from the cap.
The measure, preceded by months of hectic lobbying by US industry and staunch opposition by labour groups, could benefit several thousand Indians who are either waiting in American campuses or back at home.
Many of them had earlier lost out because the competition was so intense that the slashed annual quota of 65,000 H-1B visas was snapped up on day one of the new American fiscal year on October 1.
The new measure is a part of the $ 388 billion Omnibus Appropriations Bill that was passed by Congress late on Saturday night.
The US's technology industry and immigration groups have been seeking a revision of the H-1B cap ever since it was slashed from 195,000 visas a year to 65,000 from October 2003.
Still awaiting the presidents approval, or 90 days.
Good news Its a great thing they did it this way. The bill also provides INS with more funding to combat fraud(comes with an increase in fees). Its a good move, I hope they crackdown on the indentured slave traders( bad contracting companies) and those who abuse the system. These guys give H1Bs a bad name.
I couple of friends of mine will definitely benifit.