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Cap for regular H-1B visas met within first week; USCIS still reviewing masters cap

April 08, 2019

The congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 H-1B visas in the regular category — used by highly skilled temporary foreign workers such as those in IT — was reached within the first week, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday.

However, another 20,000 H-1B visas are available for individuals with a US master’s degree or higher, and USCIS is still determining if it has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 master’s cap.

The number of requests for H-1B visas was expected to exceed the Congressionally mandated cap as it has since fiscal year 2014, CWS 3.0 previously reported. However, the number of petitions for such visas has been trending downward since federal fiscal year 2017.

USCIS will now use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions awarded to meet the cap.

USICS recently announced an H-1B employer data hub that enables the public to see which companies are getting H-1B approvals or denials. In addition, the public can download complete data files by fiscal year.

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