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H-1B Cap Reached

MEMORANDUM

TO: All Interested Persons
RE: H-1B Cap Reached
FROM: Edward R. Litwin
DATE: June 2, 2006

Unfortunately, we learned yesterday afternoon that the H-1 cap has been reached for fiscal year 2006-2007. The information we received from the Immigration Service indicated that, in fact, the cap had been reached 4 days earlier! Just the day before, that is, May 25 th , we had received information that there were still several thousand numbers available. What we were not told was that they apparently had thousands of unopened envelopes in their office!

This is extremely disappointing and frustrating. Not only did our office have approximately 15 H-1 filings submitted after May 26 th , we had a number of other cases in various stages of preparation which we and the employees were rushing to try to get filed before the cap was actually reached.

This places quite a burden on employers and employees alike. Employers who currently have the services of an alien in another visa category, for example, on optional practical training, at the end of their training, may now lose the services of that person. Foreign nationals, who would otherwise be able to make a contribution to our economy, will find that they will have to scramble to find a way to stay in the United States or may be forced to return home.

There is some good news:

1. There are still H-1 visa numbers available for a person who has received a Master’s degree from a United States college or university. These numbers will be used in the very near future, however, the cap has not yet been reached in that category.

2. For persons from Chile and Singapore, there are H-1 visas available.

3. Although H-1 visas are not available for persons from Australia, a special visa category (E-3) is still available. This category covers most or all H-1 classifications.

In addition, this announcement of the retroactive cutoff date came as a surprise. Based on the information we had received from the Immigration Service, we anticipated there would be at least a week or maybe two before the cap would be reached. If this cutoff has affected you, this is a good time to contact your Congressman and Senators to express your dissatisfaction with the current allocation of H-1 numbers. It is possible that Congress may take notice of these complaints since, having reached the cap, no new H-1’s will be available to foreign nationals until October 1, 2007, ALMOST A YEAR AND A HALF FROM NOW!

Attached to this email is the press release which was issued by the CIS in regard to the cap being reached.

Please contact our office should you have any questions about what options may or may not be available to you.

Click here for Press Release (PDF)

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