Agencies face a visa crunch

Koestler, Mark D.
October 2003
Advertising Age;10/13/2003, Vol. 74 Issue 41, p22
Trade Publication
The article discusses problems concerning the working visas of foreign employees of advertising agencies in the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the country. U.S. advertising agencies have to be able to hire the best and the brightest talent, regardless of an employee's nationality. But the number of visas available for foreign workers has contracted. While associated with the high technology sector in the U.S., the H-1B specialty-occupation visa category is also used in many advertising agencies. It is used for virtually every advertising, marketing and public relations discipline, including account management, art and copy, creative direction, account, media and brand planning, multimedia design and many others. H-1B status for about 50 years has permitted qualified foreign-born, nonimmigrant professionals to work for U.S. employers on a temporary basis in a specialty occupation. But in the post-terrorist attack environment, agencies hiring foreign nationals are about to face two U.S. immigration issues that pose a challenge. First, the cap on the number of new H-1B visa petitions that may be approved has been reduced by over 50% for the year that ends next September 30 to 65,000 from 195,000. Second, the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service, formerly the benefits arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, has been taking an increasingly restrictive view of eligibility for H-1B status for advertising positions.


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