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For the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY 2010) we are currently accepting applications for H1B visas. The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model. The filing deadline for H-1B visas for Fiscal Year 2010 (FY 2010) is April 1, 2009. Under current law, an alien can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years at a time. After that time an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain aliens working on Defense Department projects may remain in H-1B status for 10 years. In addition, certain aliens may obtain an extension of H-1B status beyond the 6-year maximum period.

The current law limits the cap of H1Bs to 65,000 as the number of aliens who may be issued an H1B visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. (The numerical limitation was temporarily raised to 195,000 in FY2001, FY2002 and FY2003.) In addition, all H-1B non-immigrants who work at (but not necessarily for) universities and non-profit research facilities are excluded from the numerical cap. This means that contractors working at, but not directly employed by the institution may be exempt from the cap.

H1B Visa renewals and Extensions of stay however do not count towards the annual limits. Transfers of H1B visas among employers only count when changing jobs from an employer exempt from the limits (academia or research) to one that is not exempt. Therefore, despite the numerical limitations we can prepare and file your case for an extension of stay provided the maximum 6 year has not yet been fulfilled.

Related Article: H1B Visas for FY 2008
Related Article: USCIS Reaches H2B Cap For Second Half of Fiscal Year 2007