New policies may make it more difficult for them to work temporarily, but may make it easier for them to get permanent visas

Universities, industries, and government agencies that employ foreign scientists see the 1990 Immigration Act, which revamps the visa application process for skilled workers and the quotas of temporary and permanent visas issued, as a mixed blessing.

The 110-page law, signed by President Bush last November, triples the number of permanent visas for skilled workers to 140,000 each year and makes the application process easier and quicker for some of these aliens. But it will significantly lengthen the application process for temporary visas, limit their number to 65,000 a year, and increase the cost of bringing these immigrants to the United States. Some worry that this could hurt certain industry and university operations that have long relied on foreign scientists on temporary visas to fill vital positions.


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