USCIS reaches 2006 H1-B cap

H1-B cap reached

Just discovered that the H1-B visa cap for FY2006 has been reached. This signifies an acceleration in the demand for H1-B visas by corporate America when compared with the demand last year. The USCIS would not issue any H1-Bs for applications that are received after Wednesday, August 10th, 2005. The “cut off” date was October 1st, 2004 in the last financial year.

This is an interesting trend that clearly proves that the US is still the dream destination for tech workers from around the world, and that the economy is still growing. FY2005 marked the introduction of an additional 20,000 cap-exempt H1-B visas for professionals who have an advanced graduate degree from an American University. As of now, only 10,000 applications have been received in that category for FY2005, and only about 8,000 for FY2006. Infoworld has an interesting article that reports responses from various trade and industry groups about this USCIS announcement.

I am, personally, surprised that the cap was reached so early this year, especially when less than 4,000 applications were filed during the first 2 months of its availability. Of course, since I have a graduate degree from NCSU, I still have time to get one of the remaining 12,000 FY2006, or 10,000 FY2005 H1-B visas if need be!

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