H-1B VISA CAP
The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit (“cap”) of 65,000 visas each fiscal year, as mandated by Congress. In addition to this, 20,000 visas are separately reserved for foreign national applicants with a Master’s degree or higher, acquired in the US.
The H-1B visa is one of the US visas most in demand with foreign professional workers. Because such a great number of visa applications are filed at the beginning of the annual application time, (the first week of March), Congress has implemented an H-1B visa cap. If more than 65,000 applications are filed, a “lottery” system goes into effect. The USCIS randomly selects by computer, 65,000 applications submitted under a regular application and an additional 20,000 applicants who qualify for the US Master’s or higher degree allocation.
SPECIAL EXEMPTION FROM THE H-1B VISA CAP
Due to the numerical limitation and unpredictable outcome of the lottery system, qualifying US employer schools may seek special H-1B visas exempt from the visa cap.
Furthermore, US schools that qualify for the special visa cap exemption, can hire qualified foreign teachers anytime throughout the year, because it no longer holds subject to the annual (March) application time.
There are 4 types of classifications that can qualify a school as a cap-exempt H-1B employer: to be- (a) An accredited college or university, (b) A nonprofit organization affiliated with an accredited college or university, (c) A nonprofit or government research organization, or (d) A nonprofit entity that has signed an affiliation agreement with a nonprofit institute of higher education.
This, being a highly technical area of law, usually requires the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney to prepare and file the special cap-exemption application.
The most common classification that schools use to qualify for cap-exemption is to sign an affiliation agreement of an active working relationship with a college or university. Teachers Council has worked successfully with many schools to establish their H-1B cap-exempt status.