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US H-1B visa cap reached in one day

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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they have received enough H-1B petitions to satisfy the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2008.

As of late Monday, 02 April 2007, USCIS had received approximately 150,000 H-1B petitions subject to the cap. All petitions received on Monday and Tuesday will be put through a computer-generated random selection process after initial data entry. Due to the high volume of petitions, data entry will take some time and the random selection process will not take place for several weeks.

USCIS will reject all petitions subject to the quota received on or after Wednesday, 04 April 2007.

Some petitions are exempt from the mandated cap. Because of the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreigners with Masters' or higher degrees earned in the U.S. are not subject to the cap. As of now, USCIS does not know how many of these petitions it has received until they can be sorted out from the regular submissions. USCIS will make an announcement later regarding the final receipt date for these petitions.

Current H-1B workers who submit petitions for extensions also do not affect the quota for new petitions. USCIS will continue to process petitions by current workers who want to extend their time for remaining in the U.S., change the terms of their employment, allow an H-1B worker to change employers, or allow a current H-1B worker to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

The H-1B program was designed to allow U.S. companies to temporarily hire skilled labor from overseas.


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