USCIS has announced that, as of December 17, 2010, approximately 53,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS receipted 19,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees. Taking into account the numbers reserved by treaty for nationals of Singapore and Chile (up to 6,800), there may be less than 5,000 new H-1B visa numbers available for this fiscal year ending September 30, 2011.
Therefore, if your business is considering the sponsorship of an H-1B worker subject to the H-1B cap (e.g., a foreign student who is in F-1 status and working pursuant to OPT or any other foreign national who is not presently in H-1B status), you should strongly consider filing such petition as soon as possible before the H-1B visa numbers are exhausted. Otherwise, you will be left to wait until October 1, 2011 before the new H-1B quota becomes available.
It is important to note that H-1B visa extensions of stay and H-1B visa transfers (from one eligible U.S. employer to another) are not subject to the annual H-1B cap and, therefore, will continue to be regularly accepted by USCIS. Likewise, H-1B nonimmigrants who work at (but not necessarily for) eligible research institutions, universities and other qualifying non-profit facilities may also be excluded from the numerical H-1B visa cap.
If you have any questions about the H-1B visa cap, or would like to discuss appropriate alternatives to the H-1B category, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.