What is the H-1B Cap?

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There an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 H-1B visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreign workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from this numerical cap. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education (or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities), a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap. The U.S. government’s fiscal year starts on October 1st. The H-1B petition can be filed up to 6 months before the start date (April 1st for an October 1st start date). Typically, cap H-1B numbers are used up immediately.