H1B Quota 2009

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 6 Comments

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.


  1. I am an international student who is doing a master degree at one of the university in Connecticut. I have a dependent with me being a F-1 Student status. I would like to know what will happen to my spouse or dependent when I graduate from the university. I mean the dependent status when I apply for "OPT" after graduation. Does the dependent have to return back home and I stay behind to work on OPT.

    Please advise

    Sarala Gurung

    tel. 203-848-0579(cell)

    email:[email protected]

  2. I have completed my master degree from US university in 2006. From then I'm in India. Am I eligible to to apply for Advanced Degree H1B visa Quota (2009-2010)? & Can I send all my details to consultant by March 15th? There is sufficient time right?


    1. Joseph did you get an answer to your question ? I am also in the same boat. Pls. let me know if you do know.

  3. Given the high unemployment, i don't see Congress approving an increase in H1B quotas for 2009, which is sad for itnernational students

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