20,000 Additional H-1B Visas Become Available for Fiscal Year ’05
May 5, 2005

As promised, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service has finally set forth a procedure by which US employers and foreign national workers can access the additional 20,000 H-1B visas Congress recently made available for the remainder of fiscal year 2005, running through September 30, 2005. However, the additional 20,000 visas will only be available to foreign professional workers who have obtained a master’s degree or higher from an institution of higher learning in the US.

Petitions requesting one of these 20,000 visas are to be filed with CIS’ Vermont Service Center, at the following address: USCIS Vermont Service Center, 1A Lemnah Drive, St. Albans, VT 05479-7001.

Employers who have already filed H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2006, wherein a start date of October 1, 2005 was requested, may be eligible to convert their petitions so as to take advantage of the new allotment of visas and an earlier start date for their prospective worker. But again, the foreign national worker in question must have graduated from a post bachelor’s degree program at a U.S. university and otherwise qualify for H-1B classification.

Detailed information on the new allotment of H-1B visas along with procedures for requesting a start date conversion for already pending petitions is available at http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/whatsnew.htm.

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