H1-B Visa Exemption Cap Reached: American Visa Bureau

- Posted in America by Visa Bureauon 20 January 2006

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.