Immigration ceiling hit in one week

The U.S. government will begin doling out high-skilled worker visas through a lottery system after applications exceeded the cap a week after the enrollment period began.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday that the 65,000 cap on new applications for skilled visas had already been hit for the year. That includes another 20,000 visas that will be handed out to people with a master’s degree or higher that will not count against the cap.

The agency had anticipated the rush of applications when enrollment started on April 1, and the news will only bolster the effort of reform advocates who say the current cap on the visa program — known as H-1B — should be increased. The cap has been routinely and quickly hit in recent years.

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