The USCIS (Washington, D.C.) said the deadline for H-1B visa petitions was Aug. 10.
Congress set an annual H-1B visa cap at 65,000. Some 6,800 visas are set aside for the U.S.-Chile and U.S.- Singapore Free Trade Acts. As a result, the total amount of visas available for fiscal 2006 is 58,200.
"Today's announcement by the USCIS further solidifies the fact that we need to take a serious look at immigration reform," said John Palafoutas, AeA's senior vice president for domestic policy, in a statement.
"America's well-kept secret is that it has rarely produced enough American-born workers with the requisite science and engineering background to support its knowledge economy. Our safety valve has been the H-1B Visa program, which was designed to augment the workforce. The current system is failing its original intentions,” he said.
"Denying entry of the world's most highly educated talent into the United States is taking its toll. We should be stapling Green Cards to the diplomas of every foreign national who graduates from a U.S. educational institution with a masters or PhD, and we should keep the world's best and brightest here in the U.S. to help strengthen our economy," he added.