Whether a U.S. Senate bill which would boost a cap on H1-B visas for well-educated foreign workers will be approved in time before the current ceiling has been reached is in doubt, according to Atlanta attorney Daryl Buffenstein.

      Mr Buffenstein told GlobalFax in a telephone interview last week that the 12-6 vote in favor of legislation proposed by Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) was a critical step in boosting the cap.

      He was uncertain, however, whether the legislation would be passed in the U.S. Congress before the ceiling was reached.  The conventional wisdom says that the ceiling will be reached in mid-May, but I think that it may be reached as soon as the end of April, he said.

      The cap for this year is limited at present to 65,000 visas.  Mr. Abraham’s bill would increase the number this year to 95,000.

      Mr. Buffenstein, who is a founder and a member of the steering committee of American Business for Legal Immigration, a broadbased coalition of industry and political groups which lobbies on immigration issues, said that he felt the correct number should be in the 95,000 to 100,000 range.

      At press time, he was uncertain whether the bill would proceed through the legislative process independently or whether it might be tacked to other legislation.

      Mr. Buffenstein may be reached in his office at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker where he heads the immigration law practice group, by calling (404) 815-2232; or by fax, at (404) 815-2424.