Washington: US immigration authorities have started accepting applications for H-1B work visas, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, for the fiscal year 2012.
"Cases will be considered accepted on the date USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked," the USCIS said.
The Congressional mandated cap for H-1B petitions for FY 2012, which begins on October 1, remains at 65,000.
The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with US master`s degrees or higher have been exempted from this cap.
USCIS said it will monitor the number of H-1B petitions received and will notify the public of the date when the numerical limit of the H-1B cap has been met.
If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, it may on the final receipt date randomly select the number of petitions that will be considered for final inclusion within the cap, it said.
US businesses use the H-1B programme to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Such workers include scientists, engineers and computer programmers, among others.
Software professionals from India are believed to be the maximum beneficiary of this visa.
USCIS will reject petitions that are subject to the cap and are not selected, as well as petitions received after it has the necessary number of petitions needed to meet the cap, the statement said.