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H-1B Cap Not Reached

Apr 8, 2009

The USCIS advised today that, during the initial filing window for H-1Bs, it has not received even half the number of petitions to reach the 65,000 cap.

H-1B petitions are filed by U.S. employers seeking to hire a specific foreign national in a specialty occupation involving the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge (such as the science, business, medicine and education, among other fields. The numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2010 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens who have earned a U.S. masterís degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.

USCIS has also indicated that, while it has received nowhere near the number of filings that would fill the overall H-1B cap, it has received close to the number needed to fill the 20,000 exemption for those who have earned a U.S. masterís degree or higher.

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