May 20, 2013
by Bloomberg Businessweek

Ravi Shanker makes weekly pilgrimages to Chilkur Balaji temple outside Hyderabad, India, asking for a little help on a visa from an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Shanker, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, a top engineering school, is praying for an H-1B visa to enter the U.S. He needs all the divine intervention he can get, because he’s not just vying with other software engineers for the high-skill work permits. His other rivals? Fashion models.

An oversight by Congress two decades ago led to the inclusion of models in the H-1B class. A 2007 bill to put them in another category -- and let their numbers soar -- failed. Its sponsor: then-Representative Anthony Weiner of New York, who quit Congress in 2011 after engaging in lewd online behavior.

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