H1B Visa Cap Reach Dates History 2000 to 2014 – Graph – USCIS Data

One of our readers asked me that the previous article about maximum H1B cap numbers plot is not giving good insight for making any decision for next year’s H1B visa filing. He suggested,

“What would be useful would be a plot of when the cap was reached in each year. In some years, it wasn’t reached at all (including the years when the cap was increased to 195K.)” .

I did extensive research and finally came up with this article. Hope this one helps!

Let me tell you couple of things, there is no historical data available on the USCIS website for the years 1990 – 1999. In 1999, INS approved more visas than they were supposed to. The congress jumped in and took action. It was reported by KPMG Audit. So, the policy changed after 1999 and USCIS accepts H1B petitions and uses their discretion to decide when to stop. As per data is concerned, which is after 1999, it is available on USCIS is in the form of news releases and it is kind of unclear. Fundamentally, USCIS stops accepting applications when they think they have enough  H1B visa petitions,  including the backlogs they have to process and they will be able to meet the cap numbers. Their decision is just an approximate decision based on the amount of H1B approvals vs Denials and the backlogs they have with them.  Data from 2004 is very good with proper reports, but before that you just have to go with some approximations based on news releases info. Here is the data and Analysis.  I have explained in the plot below with annotations all the causes for the hype and changes in the dates.  You can read the whole data and other info in the tables. Below is the graphical illustration followed by tabular data.

H1B Visa Cap reach dates History by USCIS Data

Good Data is available from 2004. There were no excess visas left out. The cap was reached every year.  The data they present in the reports include all the visas filed and it is a little tricky to break it by Fresh H1B visas. Bottomline, the cap was reached or not and when was the cap reached ? Refer to previous article for further details on How many visas were exactly available by year . This is only for general H1B quota. It does not include the Advanced degree H1B visa cap reach dates.

H1B General Quota for Fiscal Year Cap Reached DateH1B Cap Reached ?
2004October 1, 2003YES
2005October 1, 2004YES
2006August 10, 2005YES
2007May 26, 2006YES
2008April 3, 2007YES
2009April 7, 2008YES
2010December 21, 2009YES
2011January  26th, 2010YES
2012Nov 23rd, 2011YES
2013June 11th, 2012YES
2013April 5th , 2013YES
H1B Fiscal Year H1Bs Filed H1Bs ApprovedH1B Cap AvailableCap Reached DateComments / Reasons
1999138000+138,000+115,000Over CapKPMG audit reported that INS approved more visas than the cap in News release.
2000164,814136,787115,00021-MarchUSICS believes they have enough petitons to fulfil the cap
2001201,543201,079195,000NOT reachedUSICS considers visas accepted after November 5, 2001 will be considered for 2002 H1B Cap
2002109,576103,584195,000NOT reachedUSCIS says in news releseae that H1B petitions filing declined by 41%
2003108,526105,314195,000NOT reached

All the information is available for public on USCIS website. Should you need further clarification, please visit the USCIS Website . Information presented here is based on the data published on USCIS website.

17 comments… add one

  • Manny Nov 5, 2014 Reply

    Hi,

    I’ve come to the US on F-2 dependent visa and whenever I apply for a job online, they ask if I have work permission and since I don’t have one, I’m being automatically rejected, (online). So dice, monster etc. is not helping me. How do I find work here in the US?

    Thanks,
    Manny

  • Malobika Ray Feb 29, 2012 Reply

    Hi Saurav,

    Your sugestion and the article that you posted for me is very helpful,can you pls also let me know can I look for employers/sponsors who will recruit me. SAP , I guess is a good domain and will invite offers from employers.

    Thanks.
    Malobika

    • Saurabh Feb 29, 2012 Reply

      Malobika Ray,
      I am not aware about the SAP prospects in US. What you can do is go to US job sites like dice, monster, career builder etc and see if there are any openings that suit your profile. You can also go through the detailed job requirements to know if you satisfy all of them or if there are any gaps. If there are gaps, you can start working towards them. Meanwhile, you can approach the employers who have openings in this domain to sponsor your H-1.

  • Amit Jul 19, 2011 Reply

    Hi,

    I have query regarding salary in US.

    – What would be the good salary in US ? As my employer offer me ~70k. In one project they offer me 55 $ per/hr and my employer take 30%. So is it good to have 50-55$pr/ hr

    – I may live in CA , TX or NJ. Please let me know the total cost of living in this states. Is it 1500$ MAX or may be very from person to person ?

    – How much I will get onhand salary I get on 70k as per Tax calculation ? I have seen in some blog that there is not 30% tax for married people but I am not sure how it would be calculated ?

    Please suggest me.

    Thanks,
    Amit

    • Saurabh Jul 19, 2011 Reply

      1. It depends upon number of years of experience, technology you are in etc. So it can either be an ok salary or a bad one.
      2. Yes, it can vary from person to person, and also on your family size, accommodation type etc.
      3. You should use online tax calculator to calculate your in hand. Different states have different state tax. There can be other deductions like medical insurance, social security, medicare, 401k etc.

      • Amit Jul 20, 2011 Reply

        My Exp is 8 years in Java/J2EE. They offer me 70k $. So it good in NJ?(I am married and will live with wife. )

        – What is the normal tax of state ? as I am not able to find out from sites, As I have gone through few site and found below things.

        http://us.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/salary.php
        http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

        Gross Income $70,000.00
        Taxable Income $56,800.00
        Federal Tax $10,325.00
        Social Security $5,355.00
        State Tax $0.00
        Take Home $54,320.00 —. $4,526.67 per month.

        Is it correct calculation ? As I gone through few sites but some site are not calculate Social Security Tax. Just want to know for my calculation purpose.

        Thanks,
        Amit

        • Saurabh Jul 20, 2011 Reply

          Looking at your experience, I will say it’s on the lower end. Check out job openings on dice, monster and see what other companies are offering for similar positions. As you are in consulting, that could be another reason why it’s lower.

          I don’t have idea about NJ state taxes, but your calculations look in the right range. You will have to pay social security on H-1. I am assuming you will be filing as married+jointly, and will be claiming your wife as dependent as she is not working. You will also have to pay medicare, which is around 1% of taxable income. If you will be making any 401k or wageworks deductions, you can remove them as well from the taxable income.

          To get your monthly expense in NJ, add the following:
          – Rent: find reasonable apartments in craigslist as that would give you a ballpark number about house rent
          – Utilities: includes gas, cable, telephone (varies from person to person)
          – Groceries: For a family of two, it could be b/w $150 and $250 p.m.
          – Gas: depends upon how many you will be driving every month
          – Insurance/Loan Payment
          – Misc: this includes movie, entertainment, dining out etc (varies from person to person)
          – etc

          Once you have broken it down into categories, it could give you an idea about your savings.

  • Amit Jul 3, 2011 Reply

    Hi All,

    I have query regarding H1B transfer.

    My H1 petition has been filed by employer A in 2008 and I have EAC approval number. But because of recession, I have’t go for visa stamping. Now Market is good and I want to transfer my H1 through employer B, so Is it possible ? Does they can do by only EAC number ? or Can I go for new petition through any other consultant ?

    If I try for H1 transfer than how far chances are there to get 2-3 yr visa in current situation ?

    Looking forward your reply.

    Thanks,

    • Saurabh Jul 3, 2011 Reply

      A different employer B can file an H-1 petition for you and submit your existing EAC number to show that you have already been counted in the quota before (this is H-1 transfer). Once approved, you can go for H-1 stamping and then travel to US to work on that H-1 and new employer. Note that you can go for stamping through existing employer also, but as his petition may be expiring soon, your visa stamp may also expire soon. Also, I am not sure how much your current H-1 employer is interested in sending documents for your H-1 stamping.

      The duration of the petition can be anything from 1 to 3 years depending upon what your employer submits in LCA, and what USCIS considers.

      • Amit Jul 3, 2011 Reply

        Thanks Saurabh.

        – My current employer is not going to help me so far.

        – My employer B is going to put petition file soon once I get offer from US client. So is it call H1 transfer or what? I hear that for H1 transfer I need SSN and last 3 months Pay Stub. In my case i don’t have such things. Is there any issue in approval and H1 stamping ?

        • Saurabh Jul 3, 2011 Reply

          If B files a petition for you, and submits the old petition as proof that you have already been counted in the quota, then that would be H-1 transfer. If B files a petition for you, w/ no reference to old petition then it’s not a H-1 transfer. In the former, you can start working prior to 1st Oct, while in the latter you cannot start working until 1st Oct 2011.

          Payslips etc are required only if a person has spent time in US on H-1. If the person has never been to US on H-1, then payslips are not required. To be more clearer, payslips and W2s are required as proof that one maintained legal status while in US. If one hasn’t been to US, then question of maintaining legal status is really not applicable.

          There shouldn’t be any issue during H-1 approval and stamping, as long as your employer and job is genuine.

  • Abhishek Misra May 10, 2011 Reply

    Hello,
    I want to apply for H1B i have an experience of 5+ years in IT Sales and technical. I completed my PGDBM from ESC-Rennes France.

    Kindly tell me who are the employers that I must send my CV to for the process of application.

    Thanks and regards
    Abhishek

    • Saurabh May 10, 2011 Reply

      You need to search for them on job sites like dice, monster etc. However, carefully vet every employer before finalizing one, because not everyone will have your interest in mind.

  • SYeo Sep 21, 2010 Reply

    Very enlightening data. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

  • Kumar Jan 14, 2010 Reply

    You are Welcome Joe ! Thank you for the latest link. Very Good information ! I will read it completely and will try to share some good thoughts to our readers.

  • JoeF Jan 14, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the data. Didn’t know that this year the quota actually has been open for longer than at any time since they got the cap back to 65K in 2004.

    And just this morning I got pointed to a new memo from CIS which essentially kills the body shop concept (http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2010/H1B%20Employer-Employee%20Memo010810.pdf), in particular pages 6-7, so I expect the 2011 quota to stay open for quite a while as well, basically a repeat of the 2010 quota.

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