United States selects H-1B applications
18 April 2008
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has conducted its computer-generated random selection process on the thousands of H-1B petitions they received during the fiscal year 2009 filing period between 01 April and 07 April 2008.
The H-1B visa allows US companies to hire foreign nationals for a temporary period of time. Only 65,000 H-1B visas are allowed each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 visas reserved for foreign graduates of US universities who have earned a Masters degree or higher.
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The quota makes the H-1B application process very competitive. Every year, the 65,000 standard H-1B visas are allotted for within the filing period, which usually lasts from 01 April to 07 April, each year.
During the first five days of the last filing period, USCIS received approximately 163,000 H-1B applications. USCIS then conducted two computerized random selection processes.
The first selection process dealt with the 20,000 visas reserved for foreign graduates who have earned a Masters degree or higher at US universities. Any foreign graduates not chosen during this round were placed amongst the pool of general H-1B visa applications subject to the 65,000 quota.
People who have submitted applications which have been selected by the random process should receive a notice dated no later than 02 June 2008.
Some H-1B petitions were "wait-listed", meaning that if accepted H-1B petitions are subsequently disqualified or withdrawn, the wait-listed petitions will replace them. People who have made applications which were wait-listed will also receive letters of notification of their status.
All other applications will be returned with filing fees, unless the application was a duplicate application for the same employee for the same position. In this case, the filing fees will not be returned. This is a new rule, designed to discourage multiple filings that attempt to increase the chance of selection.s