It is always good to have a full historical perspective about anything…I have tried to pull in some of the history of H1B visa cap numbers here for all of us. Here is timeline and statistics of H1B visas cap/limit over the years from 1990 to FY 2017 . All the information is gathered from USCIS Data research Web pages. It is very hard to extract the data from USCIS because the format is pdf and everything is an Image. Hope it helps you all to have a broader vision about the trend until 2011. You may also check out H1-B Cap reached dates by year from 2000 to 2017
Maximum H1B visas Cap
Description for changes
|1990||65,000||First H1-B category enacted|
|1999||115,000||Under ACIWA( American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act) in 1998, increased number of H1B visas|
|2001||195,000||AC21 Act ( American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first century act )|
|2004||65,000||H1B Cap reverted back to 65,000|
|2004||20,000||Additional 20,000 visas for aliens with U.S earned Masters or Higher degree.|
There have been no changes to the H1B Quota Cap since 2004.
Many have proposed many rules and tried to change the quota, but they all went no where. The most recent one was the Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform that proposed to increase the H1B Quota like below.
- The regular quota H1B Visas cap from 65,000 per year to 110,000 per year.
- The advanced degree H1B cap for STEM degree holders from US schools from 20,000 to 25,000 visas.
- Also, some provisions to increase H1B quota to 180,000 per year, if there is extreme demand for highly skilled workers that fiscal year.
As of March 2016, the CIR has not gone anywhere and no changes to H1B for FY 2017.
Statistics Plot of H1B visa Maximum Cap Statistics from 1990 to FY 2017
For complete detailed information, you may visit USCIS website and look at H1B visa Research reports