The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received enough applications to fill all available H-1B visas for foreign workers in certain occupations due to be granted in the next year.
The H1-B visas programme allows businesses to “employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields such as scientists, engineers or computer programmers”, according to the service.
The deadline for applications for visas for workers who would start work in the next fiscal year (October 2012-September 2013) was earlier this week (11 June).
The maximum number of new visas that can be issued is 65,000 – current holders of the visa will be able to apply for an extension of it, or for a new visa with a different employer, outside of that cap.
A further 20,000 applications have been received by USCIS from individuals exempt from the cap as they have an “advanced degree”. Such applicants can still apply for a visa to start work in the next year.
Applicants for such visas will almost certainly make up less than a 10th of immigration to the US in the next year. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 1.06m people gained legal resident status in the US in 2011, with this number having stood above 1m in eight of the last 10 years.
- See p5 of the new edition of Recruiter, out tomorrow (15 June), for news on a new 'premium' service for skilled migrant workers being launched by the UK Border Agency.