U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced information on the number of filings for H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2010 program.
USCIS has received approximately 45,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap. Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20,000 petitions for aliens with advanced degrees; however, they continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable. Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.
At this rate, there will be H-1Bs available until sometime in August. Today there are 20,000 H-1B slots that are up for grabs. Last year, employers submitted so many H-1B petitions that an individual’s chance of obtaining H-1B status was only about 40%. The same thing could happen next year leaving many students with no visas.
I think that the H-1B petition submissions will rise significantly in June-July 2009. Therefore, F-1 students who wish to work in the U.S. need to plan ahead and fast.