12 September 2007
Microsoft lobbies for American visa reform
Software giant Microsoft is to lobby the US federal government to reform the rules allowing companies to obtain an American visa for skilled foreign professionals, reports the Associated Press.
Microsoft has joined a coalition of tech companies lobbying the government on the issues of American visas for skilled technology workers. They want the number of H-1B visas available increased from the current limit of 65,000 per year. These visas allow the hiring of skilled workers for up to six years.
The global competition for skilled technology workers is increasingly intense and Microsoft has estimated that one-third of its 46,000 US-based employees are working on some form of American visa.
Recent attempts to reform the American immigration laws have foundered because of conservative opposition. Proposed reforms included making American immigration more skills-focussed, using a points system to establish the value of a migrant in the same manner as the Australian visa.
Anyone interested in American immigration should begin by taking the American Visa Bureau's online American visa application to see if they meet the basic legislative requirements.