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Stronger Economy Means More H-1B Petitions For 85K Slots

Attorneys say they handled a larger number of H-1B applications for skilled foreign workers this year due to a more robust economy, foreshadowing disappointment for many visa hopefuls later this month and signaling the need for immigration reform to boost the current 85,000 cap.

A healthier economy is, of course, happy news for the United States as the country continues to shake off the aftereffects of the Great Recession. But a higher demand for skilled workers can be a "double-edged sword" as more visa seekers will run up against the rigid H-1B cap, said Susan Cohen, chairwoman of the immigration practice at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.


“So, not only do we have a healthy economy, which increases the demand for Hs, but we’ve got a large pool of individuals who didn’t make the cut ... and are automatically being thrown into this year’s H-1B cap,” said Ian Macdonald of Greenberg Traurig LLP, which saw roughly a 20 percent increase in H-1B filings.

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