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U.S ‘H-1B’ visa applications surpass permissible cap of 85000


There are plenty of people and companies who are spreading their wings internationally and thronging for an opportunity to reach the US. The US Government has received almost 250,000 H-1B visa applications and this number has exceeded the permissible cap of 85,000 set by the US authorities.

H-1B visa petitions are a huge favorite with the Indian audiences and the most wanted permits after “work visas” for the US. Reports by The US Citizenship and Immigration Services confirm that the acceptable limit for H-1B visas has already been reached. They also stated that the limit for 20,000 visa applications for those who have accomplished their advanced tutoring “from inside the US in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects” has also gone over. The authorities have now decided to follow a system including computerized draw of lots from the successful petitions selected.

The H-1B visa petitions and their increasing numbers are astonishing because of the constant censure and debate involving immigration of skilled workers to the US. For the Fiscal year of 2017, the authorities had the visa application filing fixed at 85,000 but the applications surpassed this limit. Out of these 85000 visas about 20,000 fall under the “advanced degree exemption” special category.

Infosys, TCS and Wipro are the leading IT companies of India who apply for H-1B visas, for their employees. Besides these Microsoft and Google also desire Indian recruits. Out of the visas issued in 2014, nearly 86% were for the Indians who were planning to head to the US on the basis of the H-1B visas. The economic recession definitely influenced the situation, but in 2011 the demand for the H-1 B visas started to go up and from 2014, in the very first week , the available quota is already being utilized. The main attraction for getting the H-1B visas seems to be the chance of availing permanent residency permission in the United States after 5 years.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has claimed to “randomly select the petitions needed to meet the cap of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption”, on the basis of lottery system.

Without mentioning the exact number, USCIS said that the “high number of petitions” will get information later about random selection process. Companies generally have a tendency to file a larger number of visa applications, sometimes as high as 3 times more applications than needed, so that they have a better chance of being selected through the lottery system . Reports have confirmed a high official from the AILA has stated that “We had 230,000 H-1B visa petitions last year. I think, this year it is going to be higher. We think 250,000 H-1B petitions were filed this year.”

The reason for the applications is also because the business of these companies depends largely on H-1B visas as people are sent on projects and the Indian companies file the processing fee for the visa petition.

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