Immigration Section
April 2014 Issue
Content is updated daily

USCIS Reaches 2012 H-1B Visa Cap; Report Argues For Cap Increase

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in June reached its limit for H-1B specialty occupations visas for fiscal year 2013; however, a recent study argues that the cap figure of 65,000, which has remained the same for the eight years, is not meeting the increased demand for skilled workers in certain professional industries, including science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

The study, performed by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, argues that the cap should be reevaluated and adjusted to meet the needs of U.S. businesses, and that limiting the number of eligible skilled workers is detrimental to the U.S. economy.

The study further contends that H-1B grants are being distributed unfairly and argues that the funding process should be more strategically targeted toward regions with the highest demand for skilled workers.

“The bottom line is that H-1B visa-supported training does not match need on the ground,” Ruiz said. “H-1B visa fees designated for workforce development have not been fairly distributed geographically.

For Notaries working with immigration client, the USCIS website lists exceptions to the cap, and will continue to accept and process applications to:

  • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
  • change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

While notarization is not required on most immigration-related forms, supplemental documents such as certain affidavits may require notarization.

Key Points:

  • USCIS announced it has reached its H-1B cap for fiscal year 2013.
  • Recent study argues that the cap should be adjusted to meet present demand for skilled workers in U.S. companies.
  • USCIS offers list of H-1B cap exemptions on website.

Additional Resources:

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