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USCIS says 2012 H-1B visa cap reached

Each year the U.S. government allocates a limited number of H-1B visas for certain immigrant workers. In late September, this blog reported that the demand for H-1B visas has been high in recent years. The H-1B visa program is a professional employment visa for immigrants with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience in specialty occupations. The H-1B visa program allows immigrant workers in such filed as engineering, science and computer programming to work in the United States.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that the cap on H-1B visas for fiscal year 2012 has already been reached. The fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2011. The government sets aside 65,000 visas each year for the H-1B program. USCIS says that it has received the annual limit of H-1B visa petitions as of Nov. 22, 2011. The H-1B visa petition cap does not apply to certain individuals who have advanced degrees.

The agency says that any H-1B visa petitions received after Nov. 22 will be rejected due to the number of petitions already received. It is important to note that USCIS will continue to accept visa petitions from certain workers with advanced degrees. The agency says it has already received roughly 20,000 visa applications from workers with advanced degrees who are exempt from the visa cap, and the agency will continue to accept additional petitions.

The H-1B visa cap applies to new applications. Immigrants who are currently working under an H-1B visa from a previous year can continue to submit applications for extensions of their visa, or an application to change the terms of employment.

Individuals and South Florida businesses who have an interest in employment-based visas and specialty occupation visas under U.S. law can speak with an experienced Miami employment immigration attorney to learn about the variety of visas available for different purposes under U.S. immigration law.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, "2012 H-1B visa limit reached," Elizabeth Aguilera, Nov. 28, 2011

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