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Reminder: some US H-1B visas still available

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As reported on 15 August 2005, the US's annual H-1B visa limit for the 2006 fiscal year has been met. However, we would like to remind you that graduates of U.S. masters degree or above programs still qualify for some remaining numbers for both fiscal year 2005 and 2006.

The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 made an additional 20,000 spaces available per fiscal year for individuals who hold a U.S. masters degree or higher. Of these, approximately 10,000 have been reached, counting toward the 2005 fiscal year, and approximately 8,000 have been reached counting toward the 2006 fiscal year.

Additionally, please keep in mind that the only H-1B applications which are subject to the annual cap are those for "new employment." The US government defines a petition for new employment as follows: "...[1] a petition where the alien beneficiary is outside the United States when the H-1B petition is approved or [2] where the alien is already in the United States in another status and is seeking H-1B status..."

Some types of petitions which are NOT subject to the annual cap include: amended petitions, petitions for an additional employer for those already in H-1B status, and petitions for extension of stay. If you have questions about this, please contact