Sunday, May 25, 2008

H-1B Lottery Completed

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) completed its H-1B selection process in April, conducting two random lotteries -- one for candidates with master's degrees from U.S. institutions and the second for applicants with a bachelor's degree from a U.S. or foreign university. Approximately 163,000 applications were received during the first week in April for 85,000 visas. This was a far cry form the 250,000 applications that many immigration professionals had estimated. The relatively low number can probably be attributed to two factors -- the economic downturn that has greatly impacted on the foreign labor force and the growing frustration with an immigration system out of control.

USCIS has "wait-listed" some H-1B petitions, meaning they are holding them in abeyance in the event already selected petitions are denied. Most employers who submitted applications should already have receipts from USCIS. Adjudications of the petitions will likely take another eight to ten weeks. Those applications which were not chosen in the selection process will be returned to the employer (or their representatives) along with the full filing fees.

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