U.S. Job Killer H1-B Visa Reaches Cap for Fiscal 2009

H1-B Visa program, the scourge of American software programmers and other professionals, has reached its cap of 65,000 within seven days of opening the gates for fiscal 2009.

Most likely, the cap was reached on April 1 itself although the official announcement from USCIS came today.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said today that it had received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2009.

USCIS said it had also received over 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the “advanced degree” exemption.

Before running the random selection process, USCIS will complete initial data entry for all filings received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the precise day on which it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will carry out the computer-generated random selection process for all cap-subject petitions received.  USCIS will select the number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the “advanced degree” exemption limit. USCIS will reject, and return filing fees for all cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, unless found to be a duplicate.   USCIS will handle duplicate filings in accordance with the interim final rule published on March 24, 2008 in the Federal Register.

The agency will conduct the selection process for “advanced degree” exemption petitions first. All “advanced degree” petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

While Microsoft, Intel, Google and other technology companies are lobbying to increase H1B Visa quota, Senators Dick Durbin and Charles Grassley have been relentless in their efforts to fix the loopholes in the program.

According to Senator Grassley, eight of the top 10 visa recipients in 2007 are based in India.

Senator Durbin said recently:

The H-1B program can’t be allowed to become a job-killer in America. We need to ensure that firms are not misusing these visas, causing American workers to be unfairly deprived of good high-skill jobs here at home.

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