Business News in Brief

Saturday April 6, 2013

High-skilled visa requests exceed supply in one week

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

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services started accepting petitions for the 85,000 highly coveted 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 the 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.

Salazar: Cape Wind could break ground this year

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he is optimistic that the nation’s first offshore wind farm will break ground this year after more than a decade of delays.

Salazar said in an interview with The Associated Press that he thinks "there is a good chance it will happen before the end of the year," because developers of Cape Wind have agreements for utilities to purchase about 75 percent of the power the Massachusetts project expects to generate.

Developers of the $2.6 billion wind farm off Cape Cod have been working to develop the project since 2001. Salazar said the delays and lawsuits illustrate the difficulty of developing new energy sources. But he said regulatory improvements made in recent years should allow other offshore projects to follow more quickly.


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