Another fiscal year for H-1B visas is on its way. There are so many buzz going around H-1B Quota 2009, due to current economy in U.S.
From various articles I read, looks like H-1B Quota for 2009 will be meet within the first few days of April 2009 when USCIS accepts the H-1B Visa applications for 2009 (FY 2010).
Last year, USCIS released some rules just before H-1B visa filing date. But, will H-1B Quota for 2009 increase, is the biggest question going into 2009.
H-1B Quota 2009
The U.S. Congress can increase the H-1B Quota at any time, but until then, the current H-1B visa quota will remain the same.
- General Quota – 65,000
- Advanced Degree Quota – 20,000
- Chile and Singapore – 6,800 (from 65,000)
The 6,800 H-1B visa quota applies to citizens from Chile and Singapore.
If not enough number of H-1B Visa applications were received from Chile and Singapore, then the unused H-1B visa slots from that quota will be used for the regular H-1B visa quota.
Advanced Degree Quota (Master’s Degree Quota H-1B)
Students graduating with master’s and doctorate degrees at U.S. universities can apply under the advanced degree H-1B visa cap.
If the visa is not selected in the random lottery selection process under the advanced degree quota, then those H-1B applications will be considered in the general H-1B visa cap.
OPT to H-1B Cap Gap – Status
In April 2008, the USCIS announced a new rule that will allow students to work during the gap period between OPT (optional practical training) and H-1B start dates.
If the student have filed H-1B visa and until the student hear back from USCIS about either an H-1B approval or denial notice, the student can continue to work for the employer.
Considering all the facts and news among immigration lawyers, looks like the H-1B quota for 2009 will have the similar situation as H-1B quota for 2008. But still, anything could happen.
I will post any updates I come across about H-1B Quota 2009, H-1B Cap rules, and related announcements from USCIS here in this blog.