The cap of 115,000 H1-B visas for well-educated foreign workers already has been reached for the 1998-99 fiscal year, according to Atlanta attorney Daryl Buffenstein.

Mr. Buffenstein, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), is to be appointed general counsel to the organization’s executive committee at its annual meeting in June.

He told GlobalFax in a telephone interview last week that as of April 30, 103,753 of the sought-after visas were allocated, and that he was certain the remainder had been issued as of now.

Representatives of the AILA would seek to meet with members of Congress during the summer to explain the importance of increasing the quotas so that U.S. firms would remain “globally competitive,” he said.

He also alerted companies seeking professional foreign workers that they should not wait for the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 to apply for the visas to be issued next year, but should go ahead and begin the application process immediately.

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.