Attention H-1B visa hopefuls, it is important to pay attention to this year’s visa count because the visa allotment is filling up faster than it has in years.

H-1B Visa Overview

The H-1B visa program allows US companies to sponsor foreign nationals in specialty occupations, like engineers and computer programmers.  There are 65,000 visas available for this type of visa program and an additional 20,000 allotted for those employees who have a Master’s Degree.

The visa application process starts on April 1st of each year and approved applicants are able to obtain their visa on or after October 1st of each year. In years past the H-1B visa program would run out of visas on the very first day, April 1st, so it was imperative to have your case received by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

For the last several years the visa cap was not filled until late into the process and thus the rush for filing the first possible day no longer existed.

H-1B Demand Increase

This year, April 1st was on a Sunday so the first day to file was last Monday, April 2nd. Today the USCIS website shows that already there are 17,400 applications filed against the visa cap of 65,000 and 8,200 against the 20,000 cap amount for Master’s Degree applicants.

What does this mean? It means that we are likely to see the visa cap filled by the end of next month and any H-1B hopefuls out there should speak immediately with an immigrations attorney to file their case before it is too late for this year.

To contact an immigration attorney in your area, click here.