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'H1B quota expected to be filled up in the first few days'

world Updated: Mar 05, 2009 18:13 IST
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Amid speculation that there would be reduction in number of H-IB visas, which has attracted large number of Indian professionals, a top immigration expert has said that the quota of 65,000 will get capped as the filing opens on April 1.

"This year, with the economy in a recession and in view of widespread layoffs, the general expectation is that there may not be as many petitions as the previous years," said immigration attorney Morley J Nair.

In 2008, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received about 163,000 petitions including 31,200 against the US advanced degree category in the first five days of filing, so a random lottery was conducted.

Similar procedure was followed in 2007.

Even with a drastically reduced number of petitions, Nair said there is the likelihood that the quota would get capped in the first couple of days.

"Even a reduction of 55 per cent from last year in the general quota and 35 per cent in the advanced degree quota would do it," he said in a statement.

"So, I would urge potential employers to be proactive and get ready to file the cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1 itself," he said.

Top Indian IT companies account for the largest chunk of the H-1B work visas. Just four Indian companies alone last year accounted for more than 10,000 H-1B visas.