H-1B Visa Limits

Over two decades ago, there was no numerical limitation to the amount of H-1B worker visas the United States could grant, however, the Immigration Act of 1990 created the first cap to 65,000 workers per year. In 1998, the cap was raised to 115,000 H-1B workers, and then up to 195,000 in 2000.

Recently, the numerical cap has changed. It has decreased to 65,000 H-1B visas per year with additional caps for certain groups, such as the cap for persons with advanced degrees from U.S. government approved institutions of higher education, such as universities.

As always there are some exceptions to the H-1B caps. For example, if your work is related to a university or nonprofit or government research institution, there is no numerical cap you would have to adhere to.

With the “cap-gap” rule, if your employer submits a petition before your Optical Practical Training (OPT) has expired, your OPT is extended for the amount of time your petition is pending. If your petition and application for a change of status is approved by USCIS, your Optical Practical Training status is automatically converted to H-1B worker status as of October 1st.