Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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Just 44,000 H1B petitions received so far: USCIS

As against the Congressional mandated per annum quota of 65,000, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received just 44,000 H-1B petitions in the first three weeks after the American agency started accepting applications for the most sought work visas for highly skilled professionals.

Professionals from India, specially those from the IT sector, have been benefitted the most.

But because of the certain provisions in the stimulus package which prevents American companies, having received federal grant money, from hiring overseas highly skilled workers, not many companies are willing to apply for the H-1B visa petitions this year.

"USCIS has received approximately 44,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap," USCIS said in a statement Monday.

Although it has received 20,000 petitions in the advanced degrees categories, the USCIS said it would continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable.

"Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas," the USCIS said. "For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7.

"For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date USCIS takes physical possession of the petition," it said.


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