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USCIS Announced That the H-1B Cap Has Been Reached

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USCIS Announced That the H-1B Cap Has Been Reached

April 3, 2007

The USCIS just announced that the H-1B cap was reached on April 2, 2007-- the first day it accepted visa petitions for FY 2008. The Service received approximately 150,000 petitions, so that there are now sufficient cap-subject H-1B cases in the pipeline to fill the fiscal year 2008 quota--a fiscal year that does not even start until October 1, 2007. As a result, the Service will hold a computer-generated lottery for only those petitions it received on April 2 and April 3, 2007. According to the announcement, we shall expect several weeks before the Service notifies petitioners whether or not their cases have been selected for processing. The Service will return filing fees for those not selected by the lottery.

H-1B Visas May Be Still Available for U.S. Master's or Ph.D. Degree Holders

The Service indicated that it is unable at this point to issue any information about the cap being reached for holders of U.S. Masters or Ph.D. degrees. [There are an additional 20,000 H-1B numbers for foreign national hires who hold a M.S. or Ph.D. from a U.S. institution.] Please note, however, that we anticipate that this extra allotment of H-1B visa numbers will also be used up rapidly. The Service advised that it will issue an announcement after it culls out these cases from the total 150,000 H-1B visa petitions.

Who is affected by the H-1B cap and who is NOT affected by the cap

Foreign nationals transferring from overseas to work in the United States on an initial H-1B visa are cap-subject, as are nonimmigrant visa holders who request a change of status to H-1B.

The cap does not affect H-1B extension or amendment petitions. Further, institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations, and government research organizations are cap-exempt.

We encourage you to be involved in pressing Congress to increase or eliminate the H-1B Cap. If you are interested in contacting U.S. Congressional representatives about your critical need for increased H-1B visas, please contact us at so that we may include you in our advocacy efforts and provide you with applicable contacts and a streamlined notification process.

We will continue to keep you updated with developments. Please contact us with any questions that you may have moving forward with your hiring process.

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