H-1B visa cap reached in five days

thumbnailThe US Authorities announced that the cap for the much-coveted H-1B visa (skilled worker visa) for 2016 has been filled within the first five days for the third consecutive year, and it will now conduct a lottery system to distribute the visas among professionals who have applied for a USA visa.

Since the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received more applicants than the number of visas available, it would now conduct the lottery by using a computer-generated process to select 65,000 applicants for the general category, and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption (under which individuals having completed advanced studies in USA are eligible).

The authorities will first select 20,000 visas to be allocated to the foreign nationals with advance degrees from the US. All unselected advanced degree petitions will then be pooled in together with general applications, of which 65,000 will then be randomly selected.

While the USA business lobby has been vocal in its criticism on visa caps, which it says puts it at a disadvantage in sourcing best international talent (who can often be hired at lower pay scales), the conservative lobby wants even more stringent visa requirements to prevent the immigrants from ‘stealing’ USA citizens’ jobs and livelihoods. The visa is very popular amongst the IT professionals in India, for whom USA still offers better job content and packages, than similarly placed companies in India.

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