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Sunday, June 21, 2009

H-1B applications are below cap for 2010

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For the first time in several years, the cap on H-1B visas was not reached during open enrollment, which started 1 April 2009. By 29 May 2009, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received 45,800 H-1B petitions counting toward the congressionally mandated 65,000 cap. Enrollment will remain open until that figure is reached. The H-1B is a working visa that allows a U.S. company to employ a non-U.S. citizen
for up to six years. Because applying for a work visa is generally quicker than applying for a U.S. Green Card, staff required on long-term assignments in the United States are often initially brought in using visas such as the H-1B. Health professionals, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists and medical technologists often enter under the H-1B visa. A few baccalaureateprepared nurses who have been recruited for positions that require a degree may be eligible to enter the United States under this category. The USCIS will continue to accept regular cap-subject H-1B petitions until a sufficient number has been received to reach the statutory limits. The H-1B advanced degree exemption (see sidebar) has received the full cap of 20,000 petitions. USCIS continues to accept Masters petitions because not all accepted cases are approvable. The USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced
degree petitions. When the USCIS declares that the H-1B visa cap is met, all petitions received on the last day will be subject to a random lottery. Until the USCIS declares that the H-1B visa cap has been met, capsubject H-1B petitions may continue to be filed.

SOURCE: Hammond Law Group, LLC, April 8 2009,

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