H-1B Cap updates for April 2011

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions that are subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap. The agency began accepting these petitions on April 1, 2011.

USCIS is monitoring the number of petitions received that count toward the congressionally mandated annual H-1B cap of 65,000 and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher cap exemption. USCIS has received approximately 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees.

With all the hype, hysteria and hot air generated around the H1-B visa program issue during the past several years, one fundamental truism remains: the current annual level of H-1B visas being utilized in the United States is about the same level as in 1990.

This is pretty amazing when one considers two facts: 1) the U.S. GDP has risen by 64 percent during the past 19 years (from from $8.5 trillion to $14 trillion) and 2) and during the same time frame, the U.S. technology industry – by far the largest group to take advantage of H1-B visas and arguably its largest beneficiary grown by a considerably larger margin on an annual percentage basis.

Our government is making it increasingly difficult for U.S. companies to hire the “best and brightest.” The irony here is that we have never had a greater sense of urgency when it comes to fostering new thinking and technology development in the areas of biotech, clean tech, healthcare, and IT and in driving innovation across all geographies.

We will keep providing updates on H-1B Cap count. Let us know if we can assist you in your H-1B cap cases.