Applications for H-1B visas allowing foreign nationals to work in the U.S. are expected to keep rising in 2014, according to one analyst.
At least 160,000 applications are expected for the 85,000 available visas when the filing season opens on April 1, said Marc Klein, an immigration attorney with Thompson & Knight.
Klein's estimate would top 2012's 134,000 petitions and last year's 124,000. The highest ever number of applications was more than 201,000 in 2001, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
"It just shows the U.S. still lags behind other countries when it comes to an emphasis on educating American-born students in computer science, math and other areas," said Klein, who handles visa requests.
Klein explained what's become a cycle for foreign nationals seeking jobs in the U.S.
"So many get advanced degrees at American universities that natural-born citizens don't receive, and (which) are needed for the hard-to-fill jobs," he said. "They go home, and yet so many of them make up the number of applications to work here."
It's not just the areas of technology and science that are seeing a need for foreign-born workers in the U.S., Klein added. He said he's processing applications for jobs in accounting, advertising and architecture.