Slot of 20,000 H1B visas exhausted

Washington, July 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2006, 05:40am hrs
The slot of 20,000 visas in the H1B category reserved for those who have masters degrees or higher from American institutions has been exhausted for fiscal year 2007, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has said.

H1B visas, usually availed in large numbers by Indians, allow US employers to have access to highly educated foreign professionals who have experience in specialised areas. The visa programme allows American companies and universities to employ foreign scientists, engineers and programmers in the US.

The USCIS said that a determination has been made that the final receipt date for these exemptions is July 26, 2006 applications and that petitions received on July 26, 2006 are subject to a random selection process. USCIS will reject petitions requesting a foreign worker with a masters or higher degree earned from a US Institution of higher education that are received after the final receipt date unless the petition is otherwise eligible for a separate cap exemption, the agency said in a statement.

If USCIS determines that the numerical limits have been exceeded, it will identify those H1B petitions seeking a fiscal year 2007 number that were received on that date and then conduct a computer-generated random selection of the petitions received on that date to allocate any remaining financial year 2007 H1B numbers.

After random selection, any remaining H1B petitions that do not receive a financial year 2007 number and are not otherwise exempt will be rejected and returned with the petitions accompanied by the filing fee.