USCIS reports increase in H-1B visa applications compared to last year
12 April 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported a large increase in skilled foreign worker H-1B visa applications during the first week of this year's application season. USCIS has received 25,600 petitions for H-1B visas since 2 April 2012, nearly twice as many as it received for the entire first month of last year's application period.
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"Given the improved economy…it would not be surprising to see the quota filled very early this year," said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a group that studies the H-1B program.
There are a total of 85,000 new H-1B visas made available each government fiscal year. This consists of 65,000 new H-1B visas available for graduate level overseas workers in professional or specialty occupation positions, and an additional 20,000 visas available for those with an advanced degree from a US academic institution.
Last week, USCIS received 17,400 H-1B applications in the general category and 8,200 in the advanced degree category. This is compared to last year's first week of H-1B applications wherein the government received 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and about 4,500 petitions for the 20,000 advanced degrees cap.
Demand for the skilled-worker visas has fluctuated in past years and many say the increase in H-1B visa applications in such a short period of time this year may be a sign of a recovering US economy.
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