H-1B Visa Cap


H-1B Visa Cap Petitions

Under current United States law, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is only authorized to issue a total of 65,000 H-1B non-immigrant visas per fiscal year. In reality, however, the number of H-1B visas issued each year is significantly higher than this number due to rollovers of unused visas from previous years and several different exclusions to the regular cap. Up to 20,000 foreign nationals who hold a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university may be exempt from this cap, as well as an unlimited number of H-1B non-immigrants who work at, but not necessarily for, a university, non-profit university research facility, or government research facility.

If you are an American employer looking to hire a foreign specialist, the knowledgeable H-1B visa lawyers at USILAW can help you take out the guesswork of your petition and maximize your chances of approval. With superior client service and 24-hour support, our trusted team of advocates understand the immigration process inside-out and can give you an edge in your petition.


Every year, usually on April 1st, the application season for H-1B visas commences for the following fiscal year, with authorizations being granted and issued on October 1st. If the USCIS receives more than enough petitions to meet the regular cap or advanced degree exemption within the first five days of the application season, additional applications are no longer accepted and a “lottery” system of sorts is put in place. Petitions that are not accepted for the advanced degree exemption are entered into the lottery under the regular cap. It is important to note, however, that 6,800 of the eligible H-1B visas are dedicated to citizens of Chile and Singapore under Free Trade Agreements.
If the H-1B cap exemption has been previously granted for an applicant, they will no longer be subject to the cap. The following are all processed with cap and lottery exemption by the USCIS:


At USILAW our immigration lawyers are passionate about helping foreign nationals legally pursue employment opportunities with employers throughout the United States. Our team of advocates can help you determine if your specialist of choice is subject to H-1B cap or exempt from its terms and put in place a strategy to maximize your chances of success. To find out more about how we can assist you, get in touch with us online or call our office today.

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