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US H-1B Visas continue to be available

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that H-1B visas continue to be available for the latest fiscal year. According to the latest announcement USCIS has received the following number of visa applications for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011):

  • 13,500 H-1B petitions out of the 65,000 available visas under the general cap.

  • 5,600 petitions for individuals with US Masters Degrees or higher out of the 20,000 available visas.

USCIS will continue to make announcements on the numbers of H-1B visa applications received until all visas have been used up. On the final receipt date USCIS may randomly select visas received to reach the numerical limit. Applications received after the final receipt date will not be accepted. It should be noted that those applying for an extension to their H-1B and certain others are not subject to the H-1B cap.

USCIS also mentions that for US H-1B premium processing applications received from 1 to 7 April the processing period will only start on 7 April 2010. After 7 April the premium processing period will start on the actual date that the petition is received by the USCIS Service Center.

The US H-1B is a very useful visa category to employ professional level workers such as computer programmers, scientists and engineers. You should consider applying sooner rather than later for your H-1B visa application. It is not certain how long the visas will be available for.