Cyrus D. Mehta*

65,000 H-1B visas are not enough to meet the demands of our work force! Tell Congress today! Call or email your senators and representative and let them know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received on April 2 – the first day H-1B applications could be filed for fiscal year 2008 – a volume of applications well in excess of the 65,000 annual limit.

Although initially the USCIS indicated that it received 150,000 petition on April 2, the most recent USCIS update indicates that it received 133,000 unique pieces of mail containing H-1B petitions on April 2 and 3.  The USCIS will conduct a computer-generated random selection of cap-subject petitions filed on April 2 and 3 to determine which cases USCIS will accept for processing.  Although the chances of winning the H-1B lottery are now slightly better, we still face a ridiculous situation.  Petitions for H-1Bs cannot be filed for another 18 months, and it is not fair to subject H-1B filers to a random computer-generated lottery procedure. It is also not good for US businesses or the economy to subject hiring plans to a randomized lottery.

The only way to change the situation is for employers and potential beneficiaries to take action.


Call the U.S. Capitol switch board at (202) 225-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to the offices of your senators and representatives.


Visit Contact Congress to email your Senators and Representative a pre-written letter that explains why the H-1B cap is far too low!

Below, is a suggested message to your elected representative:

Hitting the cap on April 2, 2007, creates an unprecedented eighteen-month restriction on access to new H-1B visas for temporary professional employees. This blackout on new H-1B visas, coupled with a continually growing employment-based (EB) green card backlog for permanent hires, puts American businesses at severe disadvantage in the global economy.

The H-1B and EB visa programs are vital tools necessary to keep the U.S. economy competitive in the world market and to keep jobs in America. Far from harming U.S. workers and the U.S. economy, highly educated foreign professionals benefit our country by allowing U.S. employers to develop new products, undertake groundbreaking research, implement new projects, expand operations, create additional new jobs, and compete in the global marketplace. As President Bush has remarked, if these professionals are not permitted to come to the U.S. to share their expertise, they will go to other countries and benefit companies abroad instead. The end result will be American jobs lost and American projects losing out to foreign competition, with devastating long-term consequences for the U.S. economy.

Every day that passes without access to these high-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. The best way to resolve this crisis is for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure as soon as possible. Any reform must include an increase in the H-1B quota.

* Cyrus D. Mehta, a graduate of Cambridge University and Columbia Law School, practices immigration law in New York City and is the managing member of Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, P.L.L.C. He is the Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Law Foundation and recipient of the 1997 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyers Award. He is also Secretary of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and former Chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the same Association. He frequently lectures on various immigration subjects at legal seminars, workshops and universities.

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