These are the visas that are typically used by engineers to come to the U.S, and work for the likes of Intel or Microsoft. Back in 2004, the annual quota for new H1B visas was 195,000, then it dropped to 65,000. The Senate’s immigration reform bill S. 2611 would boost it back to 115,000, then rise annually according to a “market” based factor. And – many persons with advanced degrees would be exempt from the cap. See my prior postings on H1B.
The Times of India (TOI) reports that when the next annual period begins on April 1, the entire lot of 65,000 visas may be claimed within a few weeks:
The rush for H-1B visas this year could be like never before. Two years ago, the H-1B quota finished on August 9, 2005. Last year it finished on May 25. This year, with the US economy still growing strongly, it is expected that the quota, which opens for filing of applications on April 1, will finish around April 15.
In other words, as Navneet S Chugh, attorney with the Chugh Firm, US, says, “All of the 65,000 visas (which allow skilled foreign workers, including Indians, to go to the US) will evaporate in 15 days.” Chugh’s firm is telling its clients that “it is imperative that we have all our H-1B petitions ready to go and file them special delivery on April 1.”
TOI spoke to several technology firms who said they are busy finalising the names and number of their employees, who would be travelling to US.