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Nearly 20,000 slots still left in H-1B visas

Once the most sought after H-1B American work visa is still having nearly 20,000 slots open seven weeks after the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started receiving applications for the financial year 2010 beginning October this year.

The USCIS on Tuesday said it has so far received approximately 45,500 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. As such, the USCIS would continue to accept petitions subject to till the cap is reached.

This is in contrast of the previous few years when the USCIS had to resort to computerized draw of lots as it received petitions outnumbering several times more than the Congressional mandated cap of 65,000 within the first few days after it started receiving H-1B applications.

USCIS said it has received approximately 20,000 petitions for the advanced degrees category. However, it would continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable, the USCIS said in a statement.

Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.

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