The United States immigration authorities have announced that 2000 slots in the H1B visa category are still available for those holding American master's degree or advanced degrees.
As of April 18, 2007, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received approximately 18,000 H1B applications for outsiders with advanced degrees. The Congress has mandated that the first 20,000 such applications are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H1B visas.
The agency is making its final tabulations for Fiscal 2008 and the expectation is that the total availability of 65,000 visas under the H1B general category will be used up.
The other exemptions that do not fall under the mandated cap will be those with higher degrees from American institutions, those getting into positions of research and teaching at educational institutions and those seeking employment in the non-profit sector.
US is yet to finalise a comprehensive immigration bill which many expect will not only see a hefty raise in the cap of the H1B visa category but also substantial relaxations in the processes leading up to the permanent residency or the "green card".