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UNITED STATES – April 9, 2010 – H-1B Cap Remains Open

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has just announced that it has received 13,500 H-1B petitions under the regular H-1B cap of 65,000, and that 5,600 have been counted toward the 20,000 set aside for those with advanced U.S. degrees. This means that USCIS continues to accept applications for initial H-1B status a week after the H-1B filing season opened up on April 1st. This seems to be a reflection of the economy as it struggles to get back on track. Last year's H-1B cap for FY2010 experienced a curious phenomenon wherein the 20,000 H-1B numbers set aside for those with advanced U.S. degrees were nearly used up within the first few days, but the 65,000 general H-1B numbers were available into December. This was intriguing because of the inversion of the regular and advanced U.S. degree caps. Ever since the 20,000 set aside came into existence, it has always taken longer to deplete than the 65,000 regular H-1B numbers. This reflected a surplus of highly educated foreign graduates from U.S. universities who were hired in lieu of their bachelor's or foreign degree counterparts. Demand for H-1B numbers was certainly down last year overall, but the talent pool was larger and those with higher level degrees were still being pursued.
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State Department Releases April 2010 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State has issued the April 2010 Visa Bulletin. The good news is that the numbers show immigrant visa retrogression going in the right direction. But this good news is tempered by the modest gains. The first preference category (EB-1) remains current for all countries. The second preference category (EB-2) remains current for all countries, except for India and China.
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