20,000 slots still left in H-1B visas: USCIS

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Washington, May 20: It seems US ambition is dying down among Indian techies. Once the most sought after H-1B work visa is still having nearly 20,000 slots open, 7 weeks after the USCIS started receiving applications for the financial year 2010.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that it so far received approximately 45,500 H-1B petitions only as against Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. USCIS said that it will accept petitions till the cap is reached. It has received approximately 20,000 petitions for the advanced degrees category.

Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas. For the fiscal 2010, the USCIS started accepting petitions from Apr 1. In the first five working days, it received 42,000 H-1B petitions. However it received only 3,500 more H-1B petitions only since a month and half indicating that there is a slump in demand for H-1B work visas.

Experts say that this is mainly due to the present economic crisis, layoffs in US and also because of the sentiments prevailing against H-1B visas in United States.

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