Annual Cap on H-1B Visa For High-Skilled Workers Maxes Out in Only Five Days

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said Friday it has attained a cap of 85,000 H1-B visa applications for the fiscal year, only five days after opening the new application period.

H-1B visas are often granted to foreign tech workers, and this is the fifth year in a row that the cap has been met in a few days.

Certain H-1B employers, including nonprofits and universities, are not subject to the visa cap. USCIS said last week it will intensify efforts to ensure strict adherence to the H-1B program rules.

While supporters of the program have said it encourages innovation, those who are against it argue that it displaces United States citizens with comparatively cheaper foreign labor.

Applications for the H-1B visas poured in by the truckload this year, with over 236,000 applications last year. USCIS employs a lottery system to determine those who eventually get the visas.