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High-skilled visa requests exceed supply in 1 week

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Homeland Security Department has received more applications for high-skilled immigration visas than are available and will use a lottery to select companies that will receive them and then pass them on to prospective employees.

Citizenship and Immigration Services started accepting petitions for the 85,000 visas on Monday. In a statement Friday, the agency said it will stop accepting requests at the end of the day.

The government says that a computer-based lottery will decide which companies will get H-1B visas, which are prized by Microsoft, Apple, Google and other tech companies.

This is the first time since 2008 that the government has had to use a lottery to dole out the visas.

The government had predicted that demand would quickly outpace available visas.

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