U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the latest numbers relating to the volume of H-1B specialty occupation visa petitions that it has received, requesting approvals during the H-1B 2011 Fiscal Year.

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Employers commonly use the H-1B category to hire professionals who have unique skill sets or education in hard to find niches including but not limited to sectors of the scientific, engineering, computer science, finance, or marketing fields. H-1B extension petitions are not subject to the H-1B cap, and some employers, such as colleges and universities, are exempt from the H-1B annual limits entirely.