Demand again expected to far outstrip supply of visas for highly skilled workers

SALT LAKE CITY — Wednesday was Day 1 of the application window for 85,000 visas for highly skilled workers, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Serviceswas already talking about resorting to a lottery.

“If USCIS receives an excess of petitions during the first five business days, the agency will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap. USCIS will reject all unselected petitions that are subject to the cap as well as any petitions received after the cap has closed,” an agency news release said.

Considering the agency received 172,000 applications for 85,000 spots last year and more than 200,000 applications are expected for the 2016 allotment, a lottery appears to be a sure thing. Last year, numbers of applications exceeded available spots in five days.

“Anytime you have a lottery, it’s not something you can count on. Businesses like certainty and surety,” says Jonathan Johnson, Overstock.com’s chairman of the board.

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