Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99061440 (posted Jun. 14, 1999)"
June 11, 1999
INS Announces H-1B Procedures As Fiscal Year 1999 Cap Is Reached
WASHINGTON – The
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced today that it will stop
accepting H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 employment of H-1B
workers. The INS has determined that the 115,000 annual cap on the H-1B visa
category for FY 1999 will be reached on June 15, 1999, based on petitions
already filed. As of May 31, 1999, INS had approved 108,386 H-1B visa
Petitions for First-Time H1-B Employment returned
along with the accompanying fees to petitioners. Petitioners may resubmit their
petitions at any time and request employment beginning on or after October 1,
1999, when H-1B visas for FY 2000 become available.
Exceptions – Petitions for Current H-1B
- For FY 1999 petitions for first-time employment of H-1B workers that are
received before June 15, 1999, INS will adjudicate the petitions and, if
approvable, will grant the petitions with a valid start date of October 1, 1999,
when H-1B visas for FY 2000 become available.
- Petitioners may choose to withdraw their petitions and forfeit the fees by
submitting a written request containing the receipt number of the H-1B petition,
the name of the employer, and the name of the individual for whom the petition
was filed. The request should be faxed to the Immigration Services Division,
Attention: H-1B Withdrawal, FAX (202) 305-0108.
- H-1B petitions requesting first-time employment of H-1B workers beginning on
or after October 1, 1999 (FY 2000) will be processed as received by INS and
counted against the 115,000 cap for FY 2000.
Concurrently, INS is publishing in the Federal Register an interim
regulation to accommodate certain foreign students (F visa category) and
exchange visitors (J visa category) who are already in the country awaiting
approval of an H-1B petition filed on their behalf by an employer. The
regulation allows such individuals, and their dependent spouses and children, to
remain in the United States while waiting for new H-1B visas to become available
on October 1, 1999. However, they are not permitted to work or engage in
any other activity that would be in violation of their F or J immigration
Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year foreign residence
requirement are not covered by this regulation.
Q. What is the receipt date (the date INS received the
petition) of the latest petition that will be granted H-1B status for FY
A. Yes,H-1B visas have reached the 65,000 annual cap for the past two years. In FY 1997, the 65,000 annual limit was reached on September 1, 1997. A total of 5,099 beneficiaries approved during the rest of the fiscal year
(September 2, 1997 through September 30, 1997) were held in abeyance until the beginning of the new fiscal year, October 1, 1997, and were applied to the FY 1998 limit.
Q. What are the
top 10 countries of birth of the beneficiaries of H-1B petitions?
A. For the first half of FY 1999, the top 10 countries are:
= 46% China = 10% Canada = 4% Philippines = 3%
Taiwan = 2% Korea = 2% Japan =
2% United Kingdom = 2%
Pakistan = 2% Russia = 2%
Q. What are the top occupations of the beneficiaries of H-1B petitions?
A. The INS will begin compiling complete information on the occupations
of H-1B beneficiaries, as well as their education and compensation, beginning in
FY 2000, as required by the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement
Act of 1998.
– INS –