We thought coming up to another H1B visa season we would give you some perspective on the H1B visa itself. So we will cover some of the more recent and historical statistics about this visa category to both give you an idea as to where to focus on this year and also how well prepared you need to be with your H1B Application filing.
|H1B Immigration Year||H1B Visa Cap Reached
|FY2004||October 1, 2003|
|FY2005||October 1, 2004|
|FY2006||August 10, 2005|
|FY2007||May 26, 2006|
|FY2008||April 3, 2007|
|FY2009||April 7, 2008|
|FY2010||December 21, 2009|
So you can see the really crazy period was between 2006-2008 prior to the Global Economic crisis where the 65,000 cap was reached soon after the April 1 H1B visa filing opening. In 2004, the H1B visa quota was set back to 65,000 with the 20,000 extra cap for the US Advanced Degree holders exemption.
Prior to 2004 for 2 years, the H1B visa cap was 195,000 under the American 21st Century Competitiveness Act and then before that for 3 years it was 115,000 under the American Competitiveness Workforce Improvement Act.
Interestingly from 2001-2003, the H1B visa cap was never reached in the immigration year and in 1999 the USCIS issued more H1B visa than they had available. This was found after an audit by KPMG following the H1B visa season.
Now as we well known the past H1B visa season Fy2010 that recently concluded in December, 2009 was a extra long season due to the global economic crisis causing both US workers and foreigners to be laid off. In fact when you look at the top H1B visa employers of this past season, there was a marked change from previous years where some of the usual heavyweights like Tata and Infosys didn’t feature and companies like Microsoft were far less active in hiring foreigners.
To give you an idea of what the past H1B visa season was like we will look at some of the statistics released by the USCIS. Approximately 43% of all H1B petitions were for computer specialties. Most of these tended to be system analyst types as they as a subset were close to 38% of approved petitions.
A full third of the approved H1B visa applications were in the areas of education, engineering, architecture and executive areas Occupations in architecture, engineering, surveying, education, and executive specializations constituted another 33% of the total H-1B petitions approved. Drilling down further, electronic and electrical engineers represented about 4% where as Auditors and Accountants were closer to 5%.
Finally approximately 45% of people who were approved this past H1B visa season’s highest level of education was a Bachelor’s degree. This is showing the growing trend towards to advanced degree qualifications in the US being the norm and being the better ticket for a foreigner to finding work successfully in the US.