This was revealed by the USCIS(US Citizenship and Immigration Services) on 23rd November, 2011.
Annual quota for US H-1B visas reached–The US immigration department said it has received the maximum number of US H-1B petitions allowed under the statutory annual limit of 65,000 for the fiscal year of 2012.
The annual quota has been reached almost two months ahead of the year previous year. Out of the annual quota of 65,000 for US H-1B visas, 20,000 US H-1B visas have been set aside for those having advanced graduate degree from any US university.
So, any new petitions for US H-1B visas received for the fiscal year ending on 30th September 2012 by the US immigration department after 22nd November 2011 will get rejected.
Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that such restriction will not be applicable to petitions filed earlier on behalf of existing US H-1B workers and as such, the US immigration department will be accepting all such petitions.
Moreover, current holders of US H-1B visas seeking extension of their US work permits or changing employment terms will also be exempt from such annual cap.
The USCIS also informed that those possessing an advanced degree are not subject to annual cap on the number of US H-1B petitions to be accepted each year.
Around 20,000 petitions were received by the immigration department from job aspirants with advanced degree and such applicants can still submit petitions, the agency clarified.
Acceptance of new US H-1B petitions on 1st April 2012—The US immigration department has notified that it will start accepting new petitions for US H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2013 with effect from 1st April 2012.
Under the US H-1B visa program, applicants having qualifications including science, engineering and computer programming are allowed to immigrate to the US and get jobs here.
The annual limit for such applications has been fixed at 65,000. All those who want to apply for US H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2013 can file petitions on 1st April, 2012 seeking an October 2012 start date.