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H1B 2009: USCIS received 163,000 H1B Petitions in 2008

USCIS announced today that it received about 163,000 H1B petitions for year 2009 that starts from 1st of October 2008. About 31,200 of those are for Advanced Degree category.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a preliminary number of nearly 163,000 H-1B petitions received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. More than 31,200 of those petitions were for the advanced degree category. USCIS expects next week it will conduct the computer-generated random selection process, beginning with the selection of the 20,000 petitions under the advanced degree exemption. Those petitions not selected under the advanced degree category will join the random selection process for the cap-subject 65,000 limit.

Read the announcement here. (PDF)

If you have filed under Advanced Degree Exemption (20,000 Visas), You have much better chance of receiving a H1B:

For 20,000 limit for Advanced degree holders, if cap is reached within the first five days, random selection will be carried out in two phases. Lottery will be first conducted ONLY for advanced degree holders first (for 20000 applications). And include all those that are not selected in the lottery for the 65000 cap along with regular applicants. Read the updated Rules.

If you are a student on F1:

If you are a student on F-1, you may be able to work for 29 months on OPT before you get employment under H1B. That may ease the pressure on H1B just a bit and give a much better chance for Students in Maths/Engg/Technology streams in US Universities to take employment in US. Read more.

Now its official, it will be a lottery

Now its totally official looking at the numbers that Random Selection or Lottery will be used to pick petitions that will be accepted. In general, every petition has about 50% chance of getting accepted.  Good Luck to you all.

USCIS will approve a little more than 65000 + 20000

At least a few thousand more applicants, in addition to the Congressional mandated cap of 85,000, in both categories, would receive approval notifications on their petition for H-1B visa.

A USCIS spokesperson told NDTV.Com that the number of petitions approved by the agency would be much more than the Congressional mandated cap of 85,000 H-1B visas in both the categories.  This, the official said, would give the State Department, which issues the visas through the American embassies and consulates worldwide, enough cushion to ''reject or deny'' H-1B visas to those applicants who are found to be ineligible or those whose paper work are deficient.

''We try to accept enough petitions, so that the State Department would have no problem in filling up the 65,000 seats plus 20,000 for those having Masters in the US. By doing so, we try to make sure that all the visas would be issued,'' the official said. ( Source : NDTV)

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