USCIS Reaches 2010 H-1B Cap
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The USCIS announced that the they have received enough H-1B petitions to meet the 2010 fiscal year limit (or cap). Total H-1Bs to be issued will be 85,000 which combines 65,000 subject to the cap and 20,000 exempts for those with advanced degrees.
USCIS Reaches FY 2010 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2010. USCIS is hereby notifying the public that Dec. 21, 2009 is the ”final receipt date” for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2010.

So, does that mean employers will be forced to hire Americans now? Not necessarily as explained in a December 22 bulletin by immigration law firm Cohen & Grigsby:
Last, please remember that there may exist other visa alternatives to filing an H-1B petition. As we have done in the past when a case is caught by the cap, we will work with you to develop and implement a solution that will permit the affected employee to legally remain employed or begin employment in the United States. Please contact us if you have a case that may be subject to the cap and/or if you wish to discuss any H-1B alternatives.
Bottom line is that employer's ability to hire foreign workers will depend on their knowledge of the loophole laden guest-worker immigration system or their willingness to hire attorneys that do. Immigration attorneys are lining up to offer their services. This Q&A from the MVP Law Group has some useful advice:
Alternatives to the H-1B Visa for Individuals who did not make the H-1B Quota

Now that all of the new H-1B visas for the 2010 Fiscal Year have been allocated, What options do Employers who are looking to hire Foreign National Professionals have?

Here are some creative solutions to this problem:

O-1 Visa

E-3 Visa

L-1 Visa

Of course the other alternative is to change the law in order to insure that there will enough visas for every employer that wants them, an alternative Congress is working on with the Gutierrez amnesty bill.
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