Given how the cap is often met within days of accepting applications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it would utilize a PC run lottery, as it had done in recent past, to "arbitrarily select the petitions expected to meet the cap”. At the moment, there are discussions in the Senate regarding increasing the H – 1B quota, from its current 85,000 visas per year to a total of 135,000 visas per year, including about twenty thousand visas for applicants seeking exception from the H – 1B cap, due to their advanced degrees. While the lottery program run by the USCIS comes with its own brand of myths, the reality is that the lottery is indeed run in an arbitrary manner with little or no regard to the company that’s seeking to hire you. In short, you may be offered a post at google or Infosys but this will have little to no effect in how the lottery is run or if you will be selected. USCIS announced that they would be accepting applications for the H-1B visa class for next year from the first of April and received around two hundred and thirty six thousand applications as of April the eighth and the lottery was completed by the next day. Around eighty five thousand H visas were issued out of which about twenty thousand were issued for those seeking exception from the H – 1B cap, on account of their advanced degrees. Given the fact that the demand for H – 1B visas seems to be increasing steadily, the USCIS opted to institute a lottery, one that is deemed fair, to select applicants arbitrarily. Applicants are required to review the USCIS website for all the latest information on H – 1B visas, processing time, when to apply and other pertinent information. Since H – 1B visa holders can apply for permanent residency in the US, after a stay not less than five years; this has led to a sharp increase, since the visa was first instituted. If you’re a student in the US, getting hold of a company to sponsor your H – 1B visa is fairly easy but however, if you are located elsewhere, then you need to approach IT companies located there and figure out how to get them to sponsor your application. Usually, they would have some in-house process, for selecting candidates and then process the visa application for them. Just remember to review all the charges listed, for processing a H-1B as it can vary depending on the size of the company that’s sponsoring your application – it can vary anywhere from $1500 to $8000.
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