What is H-1B CAP?

Posted by Nishu Sharma | Oct 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

Our blogs aim to answer your most common questions and update you on the latest developments relating to U.S. Immigration Law. This blog is part of our new series, where we will discuss a specific immigrant/non-immigrant visa in detail through multiple blogs.

The second topic of our new series is the H-1B Non-immigrant visa. The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows companies and other employers in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or higher in the specific specialty or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.

The U.S. Congress set the current annual regular cap for the H-1B category at 65,000 (commonly known as the “regular cap”) or the advanced degree exemption. The advanced degree exemption is an exemption from the H-1B cap for beneficiaries who have earned a U.S. master's degree or higher and is available until the number of beneficiaries who are exempt on this basis exceeds 20,000. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year's regular H-1B cap.

In 2020, USCIS implemented an electronic registration process for the H-1B cap. Under this process, prospective petitioners (also known as registrants), and their authorized representatives, who seek to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, complete a registration process. Only those with selected registrations in the lottery will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. There are two types of H-1B employers: i) H-1B CAP-exempt employers are not subject to the H1B lottery, and these employers can sponsor an H-1B visa anytime. Examples of H-1B CAP exempt employers are institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations, or government organizations; ii) H-1B CAP subject employers are subject to the H1B lottery, and these employers have to first register the beneficiary in the electronic registration process and if the registration is selected in the lottery, than the H-1B CAP subject petition is filed with USCIS.

The upcoming blogs will discuss the H-1B electronic registration process, eligibility requirements, etc. Potential H-1B employers can schedule a consultation for timely assistance to discuss any questions you may have about the H-1B CAP subject petitions.

We regularly update our blog section to acquaint the community with to latest changes in Immigration policies. Please note the information in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should it be construed as legal advice. We can promptly and efficiently represent clients located anywhere in the US or abroad on US Immigration Policies. If you seek further clarification, don't hesitate to contact SanSha Law Office at [email protected] or call us at 469-777-6161.

About the Author

Nishu Sharma

Ms Nishu Sharma is the founder and Managing Attorney of SanSha Law Offices PLLC. It was founded on the principle and commitment to serve the people with the best service that we can provide. The firm has served clients from Texas and other states of the US. She has handled all kinds of complex im...

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