On April 1, 2013, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2014 which starts on October 1, 2013. Early buzz is that the H-1B supply will be exhausted far more quickly than in the past several years. Last year, the 65,000 H-1B cap for 2013 was reached in a little more than two months.
High-tech companies argue that the H-1B program allows them to hire foreign workers for critical projects in a timely manner. This is critical if the United States is to compete in an industry that is ever-evolving, and doing so at an increasingly rapid rate.
The recently introduced Immigration Innovation Act (“I-Squared”) includes a measure that would increase the H-1B visa cap to 115,000 from the current cap of 65,000. The increase is viewed as critical by the U.S. high-tech industry which relies on the H-1B program to hire foreign workers for jobs that require advanced technical skills, including scientists, engineers or computer programmers.