The US has received the sufficient number of electronic registrations needed to reach the Congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2024, according to the country’s federal agency for immigration services.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Monday said it has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the 2024 fiscal year H-1B numerical allocations, including the advanced degree exemption — the master’s cap.
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”We have randomly selected from the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap and have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration,” it said.
The US Congress has set the current annual regular cap for the H-1B category at 65,000.
Of this, 6,800 visas are set aside under the terms of the legislation implementing the US-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements.
Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year’s regular H-1B cap.
H-1B cap-subject petitions for the financial year 2024, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may be filed with the USCIS from April 1, 2023, if based on a valid, selected registration.
Only petitioners with selected registrations may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for 2024 fiscal and only for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration notice, the USCIS said.
The high demand for H-1B visas has led to the clamour for reforms to the programme, with many advocating for an increase in the number of visas available and a simplification of the application process.
Analysts argue that the H-1B programme is crucial for United States maintaining its position as a global leader in technology and innovation, while also supporting the country’s economy.