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HOW many H1B Visas per Year? H1B Cap Stats until FY 2025

It is always good to have a historical perspective about anything in life…In the context of H1B Visas, it is H1B Visas Cap numbers and their availability from the beginning until now….if you are new to the term cap, don’t be confused. Read What is H1B Visa Cap? Masters vs Regular Cap? Before we dive in, let’s explain how we got these numbers.

Background: H1B Visa Program, US Congress Laws

The US Congress first introduced the H1B Visa program as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act 1952. The annual limits and some modifications to the H1B visa program were done with the Immigration Act of 1990. After that, there were changes to annual limits set by US Congress. The table below summarizes the significant changes to the H1B Visa annual limitation/ cap based on Bills/ Acts passed by the US Congress.

Fiscal YearH1B Visa CapDescription of the Change
199265,000The H1-B category annual limits were set in Public Law 101-649 Immigration Act of 1990 with an effective date of October 1, 1991
1999, 2000115,000Under American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, US Congress increased the number of H1B visas annual cap from 65,000 to 115,000
2001, 2002, 2003195,000As per American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 they increased H1B Annual cap.
200465,000H1B Cap reverted to 65,000, which was the original number as per the Immigration Act of 1990.
200585,000Additional 20,000 visas for aliens with a US earned Master’s or Higher degree. This was added as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-447)
Below is how the split looks after the above change.
– Regular Cap – 65,000
– Masters Cap – 20,000
History of H1B Cap Number by Congress

Below is a screenshot of the changes to H1B Visas per year as it appears on the Official United States Code Documentation

History of Annual Limits by US Congress for H1B Temporary Workers

Note: USCIS Fiscal Year(FY) starts on October 1st, and ends on September 30th of next year. For example, USCIS Fiscal Year 2004, begins on October 1st, 2003, and ends on September 30th, 2004.

How many H1B Visas Per Year? How about FY 2025?

As you know, US Congress sets the annual limit on the number of H1B Visas per year. The most recent change done by US Congress was back in FY 2005 as per the Public Law 108-447. Since then, there are no changes to the H1B Visas count or H1B visa cap.

Below is a table that shows the complete history of the total available H1B Visas per year by the quota type either Regular or Master’s. The data is accurate as of Fiscal Year 2024.  

Fiscal YearRegular QuotaMasters Quota
H1B Visa Quota Caps by Year from FY 2005 to 2025

There are no US Congress bills or DHS regulations that are related to increasing the annual H1B visa cap limit. Hence, we are assuming that the H1B cap for FY 2025 would be 85,000

History of H1B Cap Statistics from 1990 to FY 2024

Below is a graphical representation of the H1B Visa cap numbers representing the total number of H1B Visas available annually from FY 1990 to FY 2024. There have been no changes to the H1B cap numbers since FY 2005.

Total H1B Cap Count by Year from 1990 to FY 2024
Total H1B Cap Count by Year from 1990 to FY 2024

Past Proposals to Change Total H1B Visas per Year

Previous administrations have proposed many rules and tried to change the quota, but they all went nowhere.  The most recent one was the Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform from FY 2013, which proposed to increase the H1B Quota like below:

  • Increase the regular quota  H1B Visa cap from  65,000 to 110,000 per year.
  • Increase the advanced degree Master’s H1B cap from 20,000 to 25,000 visas for STEM degree holders with degrees from US schools.
  • Also, some provisions to increase the H1B quota to 180,000 per year if there is extreme demand for highly skilled workers that fiscal year.

As of now, for FY 2025,  the CIR has not gone anywhere, and there are no changes to H1B for the FY 2025 season. The Biden administration has not yet passed anything.

You can also check out H1B Visa  Cap reached dates by year from 2000 to today to know more on the dates when cap reached and stats around the same.

How was H1B Total Numbers or H1B Cap Historic Data Gathered?

We have been tracking H1B Visa-related information since the inception of our website in 2009 and have done a lot of research on this topic over the years… All the information is gathered from USCIS Reports, US Congress Documents, US Govt. publications, their legacy web pages, and current web pages.

USCIS gives out data in the form of PDF reports, and they are images for older versions of reports. We went through all such research reports to curate the data. I hope it helps you all to have a broader vision of the H1B cap numbers availability from FY 1990 until today…

For complete, detailed information, you may visit the USCIS website and look at H1B visa Research reports


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  1. Hi Kumar,
    Is there a delay in getting LCA nowadays (post September 2010)?
    My employer says despite going for Premium, the LCA itself will take 2 months to recieve and I can get it filed only in January, 2011.
    Im worried that the quota shouldnt get full by then.


  2. Kumar, what is your first and last name, along with qualifications? I am writing a paper and need to cite you since I am using a source from one of your pages, but cannot find this information.

    • Lauren, you can just quote it as Kumar. Honestly, you should not quote blogs as official references because they reflect personal opinion and not citation eligible.

  3. Hey……Please tell us what is Master Quota and General Quota ?

    MS consider in Master Quota or General Quota?
    And if possible please tell us about the term ‘cap’?
    It is difficult to understand those facts for newbies like me
    Ankit Sharma

  4. That data doesn’t say much. The cap itself doesn’t provide any useful information.
    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.)

    • Joe, Very good point, your question is answered here with this post. Let me know what you think on the article with analysis.



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