The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B cap for the fiscal year 2021 as it received enough requests from corporations and businesses.
The USCIS, the federal agency which screens and allocates H-1B applications, said it reached the cap and randomly selected among the registrations properly selected.
The successful applicants and their companies will be notified by the agency before March 31, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.
The deadline for submitting the applications by successful registrants is June 30.
Under the new H-1B Electronic Registration Process implemented this year, before the start of the application filing season on April 1, all the companies were mandatorily asked to register with the USCIS and March 20 was the last date for the registration.
USCIS said that it has received enough registration for the Congressionally-mandated cap for 65,000 H-1B visas. In addition, USCIS also issues another 20,000 H-1B visas for those who have earned masters and higher degrees from a US institution.
“USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted,” the federal agency said.
“We intend to notify petitioners with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration,” it said.
This visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies in the US to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
In April 2017, US President Donald Trump, had issued the ”Buy American and Hire American Executive Order”, instructing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of US workers in the administration of our immigration system.”
The executive order specifically mentioned the H-1B program and directed the DHS and other agencies to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”
H-1B workers are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organisation or a government research organisation are not subject to this numerical cap.
(With agency inputs)