Pete Carey
Mercury News
December 25, 2009

After a slow start because of the recession, applications for the high-tech industry’s favorite work visa, the H-1B, reached the annual cap of 65,000 this month, federal immigration authorities said this week.

[efoods]The announcement by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services might appear to be one more sign of an economy on the mend, but compared with previous years, applications for the normally popular — and controversial — work visa have moved at a snail’s pace.

It took nine months to exhaust the supply of visas this year, and a mere day to do so last year. There was only light demand for the visa in April, when the government started taking applications for this fiscal year’s quota, but employers finally used them all up in a sign that perhaps high-tech hiring was rebounding.


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