Aug 4 2005
USCIS Updates H-1B Cap Usage
According to information just released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as of July 26, 2005, approximately 47,395 H-1B visas that are to be counted toward the Fiscal Year 2006 H-1B cap have been approved or received for processing by the Immigration Service. USCIS has indicated the figure of 47,395 visas has been calculated based on its determination that it has approved 20,366 H-1B visas, while another 27,029 cases are presently awaiting adjudication.
As you will recall, although the H-1B cap is set at 65,000 visas for FY2006, USCIS is required to reserve 6,800 visas for nationals of Singapore and Chile pursuant to the Free Trade Agreements between those nations and the United States. As such, of the 58,200 remaining visas, more than 47,000 have now been accounted for. Based on this estimate, we are predicting that the H-1B cap for FY2006 is likely to be reached within the next few weeks.
Needless to say, we are advising all employers who are interested in filing an H-1B visa petition to do so as soon as possible to avoid the possibility that all of the available visas are exhausted.
In addition to the dire news issued by USCIS in this regard, it also indicated that of the 20,000 additional visas that have been allocated for graduates of Master's or higher degree programs of U.S. universities, 7,646 have already been accounted for.
More information is available at the USCIS website at http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/tempbenefits/cap.htm