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H-1B cap for fiscal year 2015 already met

In a previous post we discussed the H-1B program which began accepting applications earlier this month. As we discussed in that post, it was expected that a high demand for the visas, which are for the 2015 fiscal year which begins Oct. 1, would result in the cap being reached very quickly. As it turns out, this is exactly what happened. The cap was reached within a week.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced the milestone earlier this week an indicated that though the cap had been met, it had not yet tallied all of the applications it received.

H-1B visas are made available each year to workers in a variety of fields including accounting, education and medicine. The most popular occupation where H-1B visas are concerned is IT. Accordingly, computer-related businesses are lobbying hard for changes to the H-1B visa program that would increase the number of workers allowed into the U.S. under this visa.

Under the current H-1B program, 65,000 visas are available to individuals who work in the fields mentioned above. In addition to the 65,000 visas, another 20,000 visas are currently made available each year to workers who have an advanced degree earned at schools in the U.S. The second cap was reached this week as well.

Though the precise number of applications filed by employers this year is not known, last year 124,000 such applications were received. The high number of applications required that a computer-generated lottery be used to determine who will receive the visas. The same process will probably need to be used again this year.

The lottery system will likely leave some businesses that filed applications empty handed. To meet their business goals involving immigration, these businesses may benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.

Source: Computer World, “U.S. hits H-1B cap with 'high number' of petitions,” Patrick Thibodeau, April 7, 2014

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