U.S. employers that want to hire a foreign national for temporary work in professional positions often utilize the H-1B non-immigrant visa, which typically allows an individual to work in the United States for up to six years. Employers in many industries have increasingly hired H-1B workers to supplement their U.S. staff.

However, in recent years, there has been so much demand that these visas have run out. Because of the high number of applications received this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service conducted a random lottery to determine who the lucky visa holders would be. Approximately 40 percent of the H-1B petitions that were filed in this year’s quota were returned because they were not selected in the lottery. Employers whose applications were not selected will have to wait until October 2008, almost 15 months, to bring a foreign worker here, unless they can find other alternatives. There are options available to employers in need of foreign professional workers, but they are not sufficient to meet business needs.

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