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H1B Cap Reached

OK so game is over for 2011, next filing is April 2012. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of Tuesday, November 22, the 65,000 H-1B cap for fiscal year 2012 has been exhausted. USCIS previously confirmed that it had exhausted the 20,000 cap for employees with advanced degrees from U.S. colleges and universities. As such, the next available H-1Bs will be available for filing on April 1, 2012 with a start date of October 1, 2012.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commented on Wednesday’s announcement from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2012 since the filing window opened on April 1st this year.

“During a time when job creation is the nation’s number one priority, why are we still fiddling around with an outmoded quota system that ignores the importance of immigrants to the economic engine?” said AILA President Eleanor Pelta.

“The marketplace dictates the pace and type of demand by business for specialized workers. To be more competitive globally, we really should be smarter about our high skilled visa distribution so that it is related to market needs instead of pinned to a static limit that was determined by Congress in the last decade,” continued Pelta. “Congress needs to be working on ways to make the visa system work for fueling the economy. The status quo is no longer acceptable.”
H-1B petitions are filed by U.S. employers seeking to hire a specific foreign national in a specialty occupation involving the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge (such as the sciences, medicine and health care, education, biotechnology). The numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2012 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.

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