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Congress Expected To Boost High-Tech Visas

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WASHINGTON--A bill that would increase the number of visas granted to emigrant high-tech workers over the next several years could be good news for bioinformatics departments struggling to fill vacant positions.

In late July, House and Senate Republicans reached a compromise on a bill that would raise from 65,000 to 115,000 the number of H-1B temporary work visas granted to skilled high-tech workers. This year, the limit was reached in May. The legislation would require employers to certify that attempts had been made to hire a US worker and that none were laid off in order to hire an emigrant. At BioInform press time, the plan awaited approval by the full House and Senate before the August recess.

The legislation is supported by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, an industry trade group.

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