Reached yearly cap of 65,000 H-1B visas for 2023: US
A sufficient number of applications for granting 65,000 H-1B visas — which is the maximum limit for a year as mandated by Congress — had been received by the US for the fiscal year 2023, the US federal agency for immigration services informed on Tuesday. The agency has sent notification of non-selection to the online account of applicants.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of working professionals and students had been sent home.
- Currently, the average waiting period for visa appointments is 500 days.
- The H-1B visa is a temporary immigrant visa for working professionals.
- US tech companies are said to depend on it to employ thousands of employees from countries like India and China.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a statement said, "We have received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the Congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa advanced degree exemption, known as the master's cap, for fiscal year 2023." It said it would continue to accept and process the applications which are exempt from the capping.
The agency said that it would continue working on petitions filed to increase the amount of time an H-1B worker is allowed to stay in the US. Along with this, petitions are being filed for changing the current terms of employment, allowing workers to change employers, and allowing them to work in simultaneous additional positions.
The wait for a visa was even longer for first-time applicants. The embassy had earlier said that working professionals, key business travelers, and students with ongoing courses would be prioritized for visa appointments. The barrage of pending applications is attributed to a shortage of consular staff and the US Department of State had doubled consular hiring and were training new employees.