A U.S Government visa program for highly skilled foreign workers exceeded their maximum quota of 85,000 applications in just five days, which will result in a lottery, said today the office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The USCIS said that since last Monday they had received more than 85,000 applications for H1-B visas, which are granted to engineers, doctors, computer scientists and workers of various specializations. Therefore, the USCIS decided from today on a lottery will be held to distribute the visas.
From a maximum of 85,000 visas that are granted annually, 20,000 are for people with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.
Last year the cap was reached in about two months and since 2008, before the economic crisis, it was not necessary to resort to a lottery.
Experts say that the flood of applications for H1-B visas shows that entrepreneurs have regained confidence in the economy and are willing to hire more workers.
The H1-B visas are in the non-immigrant category, and allow immigrants to stay legally in the country from three to six years.