For the second year in a row, there has been a poor response to the US H1B visa program. In the category of individuals with advanced degrees, US Citizenship and Immigration Services only received approximately 10,600 applications compared to a congressional cap of 20,000 for this category. In the regular Visa category, there were 24,800 applicants as against the cap of 65,000. Those figures are true as of 30 July 2010.
Some things haven't changed over the past couple of years, however. India continues to remain the country that sends the maximum number of H1B professionals to the US, and this year was no different. However, even among persons of Indian origin, there has been a drop in H1B visa applications over the past three years. The number of Indians, who were issued these visas in 2009, has dropped by approximately 1/5th since 2007.
Much of this can be blamed on the recession, which has hit the US harder than many Asian countries. The recession also has created a fearful economic climate with anxiety over jobs being outsourced to other countries, and an intense distrust of the H1B Visa program. The program was created in order to allow genuinely qualified, highly talented people in technical fields into the United States, but as New Jersey immigration lawyers have observed, it has become a scapegoat for anti-immigration fanatics.
The H1B Visa program has provided persons with advanced degrees, like scientists, engineers and IT professionals, a chance to live and work in the US. Understanding the H1B visa cap, however, can be a challenge. Not everybody who enters the United States on an H1B visa is subject to the annual cap. If you have questions about your H1B visa, consult with a New Jersey immigration attorney at our firm.