Visa cap is holding back US economy says think tank
The retention by American authorities of the cap on the number of skilled migrants allowed to settle in the country is holding back the economy, according to a group of top academics.
Members of the Brookings Institute's metropolitan policy program say that employers are desperate for more visas to be issued, so that they can find candidates for their hard to fill, highly skilled vacancies.
The annual limit on such visas is currently 65,000, and has remained at that level for over a decade, but the report notes: "Employer requests have exceeded the number of visas issued every year except from 2001 and 2003 when the annual cap was temporarily raised from 195,000."
The report noted that the annual limit on applications for the 2013 financial year had already been reached by this June.
Holders of science, technology, engineering and maths qualifications are in especially high demand, and Workpermit.com quoted Brookings analyst Neil Ruiz as saying: "Congress must increase its responsiveness to fluctuations in [skilled worker] visa demand.
"Demand far outstripped supply in the late 1990s, and by the time Congress acted in 2001, the dot-com bubble had already burst," Ruiz added.
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