The US has received enough petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2022, a federal agency has announced.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The H-1B visa programme is the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians.
As mandated by the US Congress, the US can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and another 20,000 H-1B visa US advanced degree exemption categories every year.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which screens all such applications every year on Monday announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa US advanced degree exemption, known as the master's cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2022.
“We have completed sending non-selection notifications to registrants' online accounts.
"The status for registrations properly submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B numerical allocations, but that were not selected, will now show: Not Selected: Not selected – not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration,” it said.
The USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, it said.
“Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2022 H-1B cap,” said the federal agency.
Meanwhile, the USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the US; change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; allow current H-1B workers to change employers, and allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in additional H-1B positions.
While the Congressional cap is 65,000; not all H-1B non-immigrant visas (or status grants) are subject to this annual cap.
Notably, up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 programme under the terms of the legislation implementing the US-Chile and US-Singapore free trade agreements.
Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year's regular H-1B cap.