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U.S. to accept some rejected work visa applications

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According to the The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government is hoping to clean up some of the mess caused by the recent rejection of work visa applications.

On June 12, the U.S. Department of State sent out a "visa bulletin" inviting workers to file for work visas in July. Because eligible employment-sponsored workers usually wait years for such an opportunity, tens of thousands of workers (many with temporary H1B visas) responded and hastened to complete paperwork and other requirements.

However, on July 2, the Department of State announced there were no work visas left for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, citing a "sudden backlog reduction" by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which said it would reject any applications it received. This announcement led to disappointment, outrage and lawsuits among workers, employers, immigration lawyers and nonprofit organizations.

Officials reportedly are finalizing a plan that would involve accepting some of the applications that were filed. However, it is not known whether the agency will accept all applications now and process them later, accept only those that already have arrived, or find another approach.

A communication breakdown between the Department of State and USCIS may have caused the confusion. The Department of State issues a monthly bulletin regarding who can file a green-card application, and USCIS processes visa applications. Although the Department of State tries to ensure all available visa slots are used, USCIS has not used all the slots in the past.


7/17/2007

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