In a recent announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), H-1B petitions reached the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Additionally, it was announced that USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption.

Specifically, USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period, beginning April 1 – including petitions for the advanced degree exemption. On April 10, 2014, a random computer generated selection process (lottery) was initiated by USCIS to fulfill the 65,000 general H-1B cap and the 20,000 advanced degree exemption.

Based on the numbers detailed above, an applicant’s chances of benefiting from the lottery are below 50%.

Efforts to attract and retain the smartest workers should be a matter of little debate. Multinational corporations, banks, hospitals, big and small businesses, are in global competition for top talent. The numbers submitted by USCIS for FY 2015 highlights the demand from top global talent in the United States economy.

Congress has often debated increasing the H-1B cap depending on job market conditions. The U.S. economy is on the upswing and companies are growing and more willing to hire. Company growth is resulting in the higher demand for visas, as evidenced by the numbers. U.S. lawmakers must enact change and conform to global demand. In the past H-1B quota numbers have often been used up within the first week – FY 2015 saw the exhaustion of the cap in mere days. Expanding the H-1B quota is necessary and will in turn promote the outward expansion and growth of the U.S. economy.

It is important that the community stay updated and informed on these changes and the SGM Law Group will continue to update our clients and readers on future developments.