H-1B cap was met within five days this year.
By Jayshal Sood
2015 was a mixed year for non-immigrant workers aspiring to work in the US. While the number of H-1B petitions increased by 9 percent from 318,824 in FY 2014 to 348,669 in FY 2015, the approval rate decreased by 13 percent from 315,857 in FY 2014 to 275,317 in FY 2015.
Skilled workers from India, however, fared slightly better than their counterparts from other countries, percentage-wise.
In 2015 Indian workers got 195,247 H-1B approvals, which is 70.9 % of total petitions approved last year. Percentage-wise this is 1 percent more than that in 2014 (69.7%).
Out of this 70. % approved petitions for FY 2015, a whopping 66.5 % were allotted to workers in computer-related occupations; followed by Architecture, Engineering, and Surveying (8.7 %), Administrative Specializations (6%), Education (5.5) among other professions.
This year, too, the H-1B cap was met within five days. And despite fee-hike in December 2015, USCIS received more H-1B petitions for FY 2017.
â€œUSCIS received more than 2,36,000 H-1B petitions for the FY 2017 cap season,â€ according to Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Carolyn Gwathmey, in an email conversation. In comparison, 233,000 petitions were filed in FY 2015, and 172,500 in FY 2014.
USCIS accepts H-1B petitions throughout the year. However, a major rush is seen during the first five working days of April every year. During this time, USCIS invites petitions for 65,000 regular H-1B cap numbers plus 20,000 advanced â€“degree cap exemptions for beneficiaries with U.S. masterâ€™s degrees or higher. These first five days are also known as cap season.