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Published June 17, 2013, 10:05 PM

Microsoft closely following immigration legislation

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The new work visa legislation is weighing heavily on the minds of Microsoft Executives and Employees.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The new work visa legislation is weighing heavily on the minds of Microsoft Executives and Employees.

One employee says it's daunting, knowing her work visa will expire in about two years.

Ushashi Chakraborty has been a developer here at Microsoft for three and a half years.

Ushashi Chakraborty, Microsoft Employee: “I love working for the company.”

She is on an H-1B work visa from India. This visa allows someone to stay for three years, extendable to six years. After her time is up, she can apply for an extension but that can be difficult.

Chakraborty: “I'll get visa for one year but there will be a lot of headache from this side because I'd have to go back each year to my country to get it stamped and then worry about if the officials will give me the visa.”

Right now Chakraborty is in the second phase of the green card application. If she wants to switch positions in the company she would go back to square one.

Chakraborty: “If I have to have a rule change inside Microsoft or try out something else.”

The bill proposes to increase the H-1B visa cap to 155,000 visas from the existing cap of 65,000.

Chakraborty: “What they do is a lottery system to give them the visa.”

Don Morton, Microsoft Site Leader/Fargo: “We compete globally for customers. We have to compete globally for talent.”

There are 40 people at Microsoft on the H-1B work visa. Fargo Site Leader Don Morton says he hopes new legislation will allow the company to compete with other countries.

Morton: “We have got to wake up as a country and it's a global competition and we're losing ground.”

And Chakraborty wants to continue in the job she loves with no worry.

Chakraborty: “So I can just focus on the work and not have to worry about such things.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared the Fourth of July holiday as the deadline for his chamber to complete work on the bill.

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