US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Thursday said it has got Congressional-mandated cap of 65,000 H1-B visa applications, which is the most sought after by Indian professionals, for the current fiscal.
In a statement, the USCIS said it had reached the statutory cap on the number of H1-B visa applications for 2011 after it unusually received a high number of applications in the first four weeks of this month.
The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant business visa given by the US allowing American companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty jobs.
At the end of 2010, about 11,000 H1-B visas were still available to be given. But, in 2009, the cap of 65,000 H1-B was reached on December 21 itself. In 2008 it was over on April 8 and the USCIS had to resort to computerized draw of lots to pick the successful applicants.
The USCIS has notified that January 26 was the final receipt date for new H1-B special occupation applications requesting an employment start date in fiscal year 2011.
Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked, the USCIS said.
The USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H1-B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in 2011 that arrive after January 26, 2011, the statement said.
On December 22 last year, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the 'advanced degree' exemption.
However, the USCIS said it will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.