By: Beth Robertie, Esq.
As many of you probably know, H-1B visas are numerically limited to 65,000 approvals per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 approvals for graduates of U.S. institutions of higher education with a master’s degree or higher. Both of these categories have hit their cap for the fiscal year 2007. However, there are cap-exempt entities that are not subject to the H-1B cap and so can hire foreign professionals in specialty positions at any time regardless of whether the cap has been reached. Cap-exempt employers include:
* Universities, colleges, and related non-profit organizations;
* Nonprofit or government research organizations.
Beneficiaries of these cap-exempt H-1Bs should keep in mind that if they intend to transfer their H-1B to an industry position (which is subject to the H-1B cap) they would have to wait for an H-1B visa number to be available. However, they are free to switch from an industry position to a position with a cap-exempt entity without regard for the cap as they have already been counted.
Please also note that H-1B transfer and extension petitions have already been counted under the cap, and therefore can be filed at any time.
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