Massachusetts residents who are waiting for a friend or relative to be issued an H-1B work visa may be waiting a bit longer. The U.S. Department of Customs and Immigration Services announced on April 7 that it possessed enough applications to meet its 2014 quota. Each year, the government issues 65,000 H-1B visas which allow employers to temporarily hire workers in certain specialty fields. Approximately 20,000 more visas are granted to workers that have master's or doctorate degrees.
April 7 marked the deadline for companies to submit applications to sponsor employees for work visas. Next, the federal agency will hold a lottery to choose which applications will be reviewed. Some employers expressed a wish that more H-1B visas would be issued so they could find highly skilled workers. As the economy improves, some companies stated that they are unable to meet their hiring needs.