According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the congressionally- mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for 2020, has already been achieved in less than 10 days. The applications began to be accepted on 1 April.
This popular non-immigrant work visa allows American organisations to hire workers from other countries on the basis of their expertise — technical as well as theoretical. The American technology companies are able to recruit thousands of foreign nationals, especially Indian and Chinese.
Now, the USCIS will be looking at the petitions that meet the so-called master’s cap of 20,000. This refers to the US advanced degree exemption.
While last year the USCIS received 190,000 cap-subjected H-1B applications, the year before that it received 199,000 applications, and two years back it received 236,000 petitions in the first five days itself.
Post the implementation of the new visa rules for foreign professionals, this is the first season of H-1B petitions. As per the amendments, preference is given to those who have finished their post-graduation from an American university or educational institution.
Now, the USCIS first chooses H-1B petitions that have been submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, even those who qualify for the advanced degree exemption.
Then, the agency selects from the remaining eligible petitions, a number estimated to reach the advanced degree exemption. If the sequence in which the USCIS counts these allocations is changed, there is a likelihood of the number of petitions for beneficiaries possessing an American master’s or higher degree to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations going up.
In fact, according to the USCIS, such a change will cause a jump of almost 16 per cent (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries possessing an advanced degree from an American institution.