20 January 2006
H1-B Visa Exemption Cap Reached
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced on Wednesday that the annual exemption cap on H-1B visas was reached four months into the current fiscal year.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has said received enough applications qualifying for an exemption from H-1B visa caps to exhaust its limit of 20,000 a year. The exemption cap is designed for foreign students with graduate degrees earned in the U.S.
The agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said it will designate Jan. 17, 2006, as the cut-off date for cap-exempt H-1B petitions.
The overall H-1B cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal 2006 was reached in August, two months prior to the start of the current fiscal year.
Lobby groups are pressuring Congress to adopt comprehensive immigration legislation that would raise H-1B visa caps.
Engineering and other professional groups argue that U.S. companies are using the high-tech visa program to hire cheap, foreign workers.