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Update at 1115 hrs (IST)

US H-1B visa reaches mandated cap of 65,000

WASHINGTON: Applications for US H-1B visas, the most sought after by Indian professionals for working in America, have reached the Congressional-mandated cap of 65,000 for the current fiscal with the USCIS receiving an unusually high number of petitions in the first four weeks of this month.

In a statement, the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2011.

Given that some 11,000 H-1B visas were still available at the end of 2010, the USCIS received an unusually high number of applications in the first four weeks of this month.

H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the US which allows American companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.

In 2009, the cap of 65,000 was reached on December 21. In 2008, the cap was reached on April 8 and the USCIS had to resort to computerised draw of lots to determine the successful applicants.

Till a couple of years ago, the cap in H-1B visas was reached in the first few days of USCIS starting to accept applications. PTI

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