The US would start accepting petitions for popular H-1B work visas for the fiscal year 2017 from the beginning of next month, officials announced today.
H-1B visa, popular with Indians, is used by American companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialised knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.
There is no change in the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 on H-1B visas for FY 2017, beginning October 1.
The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a US Master's degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap.
In a statement, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said this year it expects to receive more than 65,000 petitions during the first five business days of this year's program.
The agency will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public when the H-1B cap has been met.
"If USCIS receives an excess of petitions during the first five business days, the agency will use a computer-generated lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap," the official statement said.