H-1B Visa Cap Is Reached
August 25, 2005

The general allotment of 65,000 H-1B visas for fiscal year 2006 has indeed been exhausted, and the fiscal year has not even yet begun. The allotment of 20, 000 H-1B visas for graduates of U.S. advanced degree programs has not been exhausted and visas for this category of workers continue to remain available.

Under federal law, the fiscal year runs from October 1 and through September 30. Petitions for H-1B workers may be filed by employers up to 6 months in advance of the date the worker is to commence their duties. Thus, an employer seeking to add an H-1B worker to its workforce for fiscal year 2007, which starts on October 1, 2006, can file an H-1B petition as early as April 1, 2006.

Whether or not Congress will take action to address the obvious supply/demand problem, by perhaps expanding on the annual allotment, remains to be seen.

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