Congress sets annual numerical limitations (caps) on H-1B visas. The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. 6,800 visas are set aside for nationals from Chile and Singapore, leaving 58,200 visas for foreign nationals from other countries. An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are designated for foreign workers with a Master’s or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution.
As of December 10, 2009, approximately 62,500 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS noted that it has approved sufficient H-1B petitions to meet the allotment for aliens with advance degrees. Any H-1B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree therefore will be counted toward the general H-1B cap of 65,000. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limit, recognizing that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. Additional information may be found here.