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Appeal Could Upend Lottery for Skilled Worker Visas

April 5, 2017, 2:10 PM

The fate of the annual lottery that determines how H-1B high-skill, temporary visas are allocated will soon be in the hands of a federal appeals court.

If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agrees that the lottery is illegal, it could upend the way companies have been planning and preparing their petitions for years.

The H-1B program is popular among tech giants such as Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Intel Corp., Amazon.com Inc., IBM Corp. and Apple Inc., but also spans various other industries in need of “specialty occupation” workers.

For the past several years, the number of...

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