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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

H-1B Cap Running Out

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The latest H-1B cap numbers show yet another dramatic uptick in filings. There are approximately 6,000 H-1Bs still available as of November 27, which is when the USCIS last updated their page.

MU is predicting that the H-1B cap will be reached in the next 2 weeks, perhaps sooner. Accordingly all MU clients are encouraged to send us their H-1B cap-subject filings ASAP.

USCIS is allowed to approve 65,000 H-1B visas, but they have to withhold 6,800 visas for the special Singapore and Chile H-1B1 visas. This leaves 58,200 H-1B visas

USCIS then adds back any unused Singapore and Chile H-1B1 visas. In most years, this is 6,500+ visas. In other words there are only a few hundred Singapore/Chile H-1B1s used every year. So then we add 57,800 + 6,500 and this means that the actual H-1B cap is around 64,000 H-1Bs.

Employees that may need an H-1B visa include:

- International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school;
- International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case;
- Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1;
- H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization; and
- Prospective international employees currently living abroad.

International workers who are working here in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as "transfer" cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.

Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1(b) status, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and
some Registered Nursing jobs.


As of November 27, 2009, approximately 58,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been filed. USCIS has approved sufficient H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees to meet the exemption of 20,000 from the fiscal year 2010 cap. Any H-1B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree will now count toward the general H-1B cap of 65,000. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

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