Glut of US visas

Nearly 20,000 of the American visa slots are lying vacant thanks to the tattered US economy.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said it has received approximately 49,000 H1B  visa petitions until August 7, counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap, more than four months after it started accepting applications for visas for the 2010 fiscal year begining this October. 

This is in contrast to the previous years when the USCIS had to resort to a computerised lottery as it received several times more than the Congressional mandated cap of 65,000 within the first few days of opening H1B visa applications. 

In 2007 and 2008 the caps were reached in the first few days itself – April 2 and April 1-5 respectively.

The 20,000 vacant slots have remained almost the same for the past two months. This is also due to a large number of rejections of H-1B petitions.       

Figures in the past have indicated that Indian IT professionals receive the majority of H1B visas.  

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in American visa and immigration services.