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Lost the H-1B Visa Lottery? There May Be Other Visa Options Available to You.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa to the United States for professionals and individuals with “specialty occupations” requiring a bachelor’s degree. A “specialized occupation” requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Examples of “specialty occupations” include engineers, physicians, accountants, teachers and others. April 1st is the earliest date to file cap-subject petitions. The USCIS received 172, 500 cap-subject H-1B visa petitions during the first week of April, 2014. For the first time since Congress imposed an arbitrary numerical cap on H-1B petitions in the early 1990s, there were more losers than winners in this year’s lottery. Given that the cap is presently set at 85,000 (65,000 H-1B regular cap and 20,000 H-1B master’s exemption), there are a total of 87,500 individuals who will not be able to work in H-1B status for the companies which sponsored them.

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Immigration Update: H-1B Visa

Petition filings for H-1B Visas surged this year.  In fact, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) have reached their statutory cap for fiscal year 2015.  With 172,500 petitions received, the cap on these visas was exceeded, leaving USCIS to hold a lottery to select which petitioners would get their petitions processed.

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