On June 1, 2006, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has already received enough new H-1B petitions to reach the annual cap for fiscal year 2007 (which doesn’t even begin until October 1, 2006).
The H-1B category is used by U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign nationals in ?specialty occupations? which require a bachelor’s degree in a specific field as a qualification. However, the category is subject to an annual cap. According to the attached press release, that cap has already been met by petitions filed since April 1 of this year.
The H-1B shortage -- which could present particular challenges for employers in technology-based industries who rely heavily on H-1B workers -- may be addressed by legislation. If not, employers may be able to use alternative categories to employ foreign workers lawfully in the U.S.
Keep in mind that certain immigration petitions, such as petitions to extend status or change employers, are not subject to the cap. Other petitions are exempt -- including the first 20,000 filed on behalf of individuals with Master’s degrees from U.S. institutions. Pitney Hardin’s immigration team can help you analyze the options for employing foreign workers in the U.S.