Visa legislation in the works

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 26, 2004

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New legislation regarding the H-1B visa has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The legislation, HR 4166, would create a permanent yearly exemption for 20,000 graduates of U.S. universities who have earned a master's level degree or higher.

The H-1B, which is frequently sought by international medical graduates who have been offered medical residencies in the United States, is limited to 65,000 professional or technical workers a year.

This year the cap reverted from a limit of 195,000 to 65,000, which was reached by midwinter. While physicians hired by nonprofit research, university or government institutions are exempt from this cap, not all resident programs fall into this category.

Since the visa cap was reached before the National Resident Matching Program was held, it has been noted that IMGs will have fewer visa options, which could impede their entry into the United States and their ability to fill their match obligations.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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