H-1B Cap for FY2005 nearly reached

News Release from Jewell & Associates - August 20, 2004 Government authorities confirmed a rumor today that approximately 40,000 H-1B petitions that count against the 65,000 cap on new H-1B approvals for FY 2005 (10/1/2004 through 9/30/2005) either have been approved or are in the queue for adjudication.  The 65,000 cap includes a number of H-1Bs reserved for citizens of Chile and Singapore under the recent Free Trade Agreement with those countries.  Allowing for the Chile/Singapore set-aside, it is probable that new, cap-subject H-1B petitions filed with USCIS (the former INS) after September 2004 will not be accorded approval under the FY 2005 cap.  H-1Bs under the FY 2006 cap will not be effective until October 1, 2005.

It is important to note that only “new” H-1B petitions are subject to the annual cap. Petitions to amend or extend an existing H-1B or to change H-1B employers are not subject to the cap. Employers planning to file “new” H-1B petitions should consult with their immigration counsel as soon as possible on the appropriate strategy for such cases.

© Jewell & Associates 2004