All About H1B Visa Cap

H1B Visa Cap 2017: Do you know that you can apply for H1B Visa during the time of your study? Many people assume that for H1B Visa under Masters Cap/ Masters Quota the first preference to a petitioner who is having a sponsor. But in general, H1B Visa Cap which referred as “H1B Visa Quota” is divided into different sections depending upon the level of educational you has done. Most number of petitions for H1B Visa is of the candidates who do their Masters in the US. Just like me, initially many of you may get confused about H1B Visa Cap. As consulting companies mostly do H1B Visa 2017 application fillings, you might be having some doubts and assumptions regarding H1B Visa Cap. Also, it would be for your own good to know about H1B Visa Cap as many job consulting companies try to do tricks. As I already wrote an article regarding All About H1B Visa, check it out.

H1B Visa Cap - AfterPassport

USCIS divides petitions/applications received for H1B Visa in three different Cap/Quota levels. Among the submitted petitions USCIS conducts “Computer-based random selection process” commonly called as H1B Visa Lottery. As per H1B Visa 2016 and H1B Visa 2017 notification the number of H1B Visas that picked through Lottery process is 85000. All these 85000 applications selected through different H1B Visa Cap hierarchies.

There are three H1B Visa Caps.

  • Masters Cap
  • Regular Cap
  • Chile/ Singapore Cap

Other than the above mentioned three H1B Visa Caps there is another quota called H1B Visa Cap Exempted. Now let’s look into the each H1B Visa Caps separately.

Know About H1B Visa Cap Clearly Explained

Masters Cap: This is the first computer based random selection process for H1B Visa. Under this H1B Visa Cap, a total number of 20000 petitions selected through H1B Visa lottery process. To apply your H1B Visa application under Masters Cap, you need to complete your Master’s degree in one of the accredited universities in the United States. Though, if you have done your Associate degree or Bachelor degree in the US, still you are not qualified for H1B Visa Master Cap.  Also, you completed your Masters in a country other than the Unites States of America; still you are not eligible for H1B Visa Master Cap. As of H1B Visa 2016 listings, a total of 21000 petitions can get selected. An increase in some petitions indicates that they forwarded from the previous year. That is, vacancies that remained in the previous year are used in the next coming year.

Regular Cap: As the name referred Regular Cap, this H1B Visa cap also called as H1B Visa General Cap / General Quota. Unlike Masters Cap, anyone can apply for H1B Visa. There is no need of any specific qualification required to apply under this Cap. Under this cap, a maximum number of petitions selected through computer-based selection processing. Every year 65000 applications are selected under the Regular cap for H1B Visa. Though the actual pick number is always more than 65000, just because, some people dropouts and some may not pass through the interview. So to neutralize the deficit the number of H1B Visa picks is always high.

Since applications for Regular Cap are high in number, competition is very high for H1B Visa under Regular cap. Add on, applications which are not picked in Masters Cap are automatically forward to Regular cap for the computer-based selection process. So irrespective of a high number of petitions to be acceptable under Regular Cap for H1B Visa, it is a bit tough to get H1B Visa picked under the Regular cap.

Chile/ Singapore Cap (H1B1 Visa): People from Chile/ Singapore have priority in H1B Visa under Regular Cap. Because of the Free Trade Agreements that are signed with those countries, USCIS gave preference to 6500 applicants of those countries. Among 65000 petitions of the Regular cap for H1B Visa, 6500 petitions are allotted for H1B1 Visa, i.e., for people from Chile and Singapore. If applicants from those countries are less than 6500 which is a rare occasion, than remaining slots are used for applicants from other countries. This makes H1B Visa pick more complicated from Regular Cap.

Unlike H1B Visa cap and H1B1 Visa cap, these Visas are approved without going through any computer-based selection process, i.e., Lottery. This accepting of Visa called as Cap-Exempt petition. Since there are many reasons to get an H1B Visa with Cap-Exempt petition, it will be discussed clearly in another article. As of now, I wrote this H1B Visa Cap article with a little experience I got and with filtered collective information from many notable websites. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment below.


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  1. Adnan says:

    Tell me the good consultant how I can reach how I can file my case to whom

    • Manoj Kumar says:

      If you are looking for a H1B filing for 2017, you should better search for companies sponsoring H1B visa for you. Though there are a few trusted consulting companies, now a days, you can trust any job consultancy in the USA.
      I recommend you to find a company who offers H1B visa. Apply for a job. Grab it. Ask them to file H1B visa for you.

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