Advance degree H-1B visas for 2006 over

By agencies   |   Friday, 20 January 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: HereÂ’s a bad news for Indian IT professionals. The 20,000 advance degree H-1B visas for the year 2006 have exhausted, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service said.

According to the latest updates, the quota of 20,000 visas, available under this category, has been exhausted as on January 17, 2006.

Under the current law, while the annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000, Congress had created an exemption for 20,000 foreign students earning advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

However with the high demand for skilled temporary workers in the U.S., the 65,000 H-1B visas cap was reached even before the start of the Federal Government's fiscal year 2006.

"Although the cap for advance degree H-1B visa has been reached, it will not adversely affect the operations of IT companies in India, as the sector is constantly looking at ways to increase the offshore component of every service line. Therefore it automatically eases pressure from physically sending a person onsite to U.S.," the Nasscom Vice- President, Sunil Mehta, said.

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