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Immigration News Flash

May 19, 2006

USCIS Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas

On May 15th the USCIS announced that Ĺ of the available visas allotted for FY06 visas were already accounted for. By way of background the H-1B visa category opened up for use on April 1st. 65,000 visas were made available for the upcoming fiscal year (October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007). Last year the cap was reached on August 10th leaving employers out of luck for the remainder of the year. The H-1B visa program allows for specialized and highly skilled temporary workers to be admitted to the United States for an initial period of 3 years which can later be extended for additional three years. In fact the full 65,000 visas are not actually all available for general use; 6,800 visas are for the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Program and therefore 58,200 visas have been available since April 1, 2006. For more information on the count read below.

On May 15, 2006, USCIS reported the following numbers:

H-1B
6,033 Beneficiaries have been approved
28,775 Beneficiaries are pending

If we assume that all 28,775 pending petitions are approved that would leave approximately 26,192 visas available.

For individuals with advanced degrees, that is a masterís degree or higher from a United States academic institution, 20,000 visas have been available. The following numbers were report by USCIS:

H-1B Advanced Degree Exemption
1,392 Beneficiaries have been approved
3,246 Beneficiaries are pending

Approximately 16,362 visas are still available for individuals holding advanced degrees from U.S. institution.

Last year the H-1B cap was reached on August 10, 2005 and right now we are 46 days into the 2007 Fiscal Year and more than half of visas have been used. The cap for the advanced degree exemption was not reached until January 17, 2006. Bear in the mind these figures change as the number of visas available minimizes each day.