The US has started accepting petition for the much sought H-1B work visas, amidst fear from industry experts and officials that the congressional mandated quota of 65,000 might get filled up in the first week itself.
Officials said the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would not issue daily update on number of applications received, but will make an announcement when the cap is reached.
The USCIS received H-1B petitions at its two centers â€” the Vermont Service Center and the California Service Center â€” where its officials described business as usual.
Last week, USCIS had said based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, it anticipates that it may receive more petitions than the H-1B cap between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013.
As such if USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, it will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit, the federal agency said.
The lottery for the H-1B cap was last used in April 2008, when the cap was filled on the first day itself.
In 2012, it took 73 days for the USCIS to fill in the cap, while in took 235 days to receive applications to fill the 65,000 H-1B numbers in 2011; 300 days in 2010, and 264 days in 2009. In 2008 and 2007 the caps were reached in the first few days.
April 2, 2013
US starts receiving applications for H-1B visas
Posted on April 5, 2013