The application window had begun from April 1. The cap was hit within just four days of the opening of the window.
However, unlike previous years, it did not say how it was going to determine the successful applications, which in the past had been through a computerised draw of lots.
Indian nationals account for nearly two out of three H-1B visa holders in the US. But the majority of them are from companies such as IBM and Facebook. Indian firms such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies have been reducing dependency on H-1B visas, accounting for less than 20 per cent of the nearly 80,000 visas issued annually.
Earlier, before the start of the current H-1B application season, the USCIS had issued a clarification to one of its processing centres, saying the an entry-level computer programmer's position would not generally qualify as a position in a speciality occupation. One of the H-1B visa requirements is that the job that the applicant is applying for in the US is a speciality occupation.
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A guidance issued by the USCIS to one of its centres clarifying the existing policy on such matters had shed light on how such visa applications would be handled. The new memorandum rescinded a previous memorandum, titled “Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions”, issued to the USCIS' Nebraska Service Center employees on December 22, 2000. The agency maintains that it was only a clarification.