The United States discoveries itself at a pivotal juncture in immigration matters as the annual allocation for H-1B visas has been met, according to the statement by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This development underscores the significance of the H-1B program for American enterprises, affording them the capability to involve foreign professionals in specialized capacities.
Officially, the USCIS has affirmed the reception of a surplus of petitions, adequately addressing both the standard cap of 65,000 and the specialized master’s cap, set at 20,000 for advanced degree exemptions. Ergo, the designated allotment of H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2024 has been entirely depleted.
For aspirants who have dutifully submitted their registrations but find themselves outside the selection sphere, the USCIS will disseminate non-selection notifications through their online accounts. The status therein will unequivocally denote ‘Not Selected,’ thereby precluding them from filing an H-1B cap petition pertaining to this registration cycle.
In contrast, the USCIS will persist in the reception and adjudication of petitions that fall outside the cap limitations. This encompasses applications for existing H-1B incumbents who retain their cap designation. These petitions serve sundry purposes, including extensions of stay duration, modifications to employment terms, facilitation of employer transitions, and the authorization of simultaneous engagement in additional H-1B roles.
The USCIS underscores its commitment, stating, “Non-selection notifications will be dispatched to registrants via their online accounts in the ensuing days.”
Verification of an H-1B petition’s inclusion within the cap ambit involves a meticulous scrutiny of data amassed during the electronic registration process. The cap encompasses the conventional 65,000 H-1B visas and extends to advanced degree recipients until surpassing the 20,000 mark.
The prescribed annual standard cap for the H-1B category stands at 65,000, with an additional 6,800 earmarked for the H-1B1 initiative under the free trade agreements with the United States, Chile, and Singapore. Unused visas in this category become accessible for the following fiscal year’s standard H-1B cap.
Noteworthy is the exception accorded to H-1B practitioners in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam, exempted from the cap under guidelines delineated by the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, extending until December 31, 2029.