H1B visas yet to reach 50 percent of quota
Friday, 20 August 2010, 17:32 Hrs | 3 Comments
WASHINGTON: Applications for H-1B work visas, once most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, have not even reached the 50 percent mark of the Congressional-mandated quota of 65,000, U.S. officials have said, amid India's concerns over the fee hike for the scheme. According to the latest figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), just 29,700 people had applied for H-1B visas till August 13. In the separate higher-education category, the USCIS had received only 12,300 petitions so far. Till two years ago, the cap for both the categories of H-1B visas was reached within the first few days and USCIS had to resort to computerised draw of lots to decide the successful applicants. The low-key response this year comes amid India's concerns over the hike in H1-B and L1 visa fee, which would adversely affect Indian IT companies.