On October 1, 2003, the allotment of H-1B visas provided annually by Congress dropped from 195,000 to 65,000. Out of that number, 6,800 are reserved for the H-1B1 program for nationals of Chile and Singapore. Numbers not used of that 6,800 (which will likely be several thousand) will be
made available in the 45 day period beginning October 1st. Congress also has allocated an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for graduates of US masters programs or higher.
This week, the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2009 is to open up and USCIS is expected to announce almost immediately that it has received enough applications to meet the 2009 cap (which covers the fiscal year running from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. Numbers in the 20,000 pool will
likely last a little longer, but probably not much more than a few days.
The next allotment of H-1B visas in the 65,000 pool will open up on October 1, 2010 with applications being accepted on April 1, 2009. Until then, it will be impossible to obtain new H-1B visas for cap subject employees except for
visas leftover from the H-1B1 Singapore/Chile program.
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