Why was the H-1b cap reached so early this year ?

Many people are wondering what caused the H-1b cap to be reached so much more quickly this year. Information that the cap would be met in November, two and a half months earlier than past years, caused many employers to scramble to submit petitions. At the Hammond Law Group, we believe that there are several reasons why the cap was reached at an earlier date. Perhaps most obviously, IT industry groups, such as TechServe Alliance, have noted consistent increases in hiring throughout this year. As a result, many IT organizations submitted an increased number of H-1b petitions this year for foreign workers who they hoped would fill these positions. In addition, the U.S. Consulates in India are denying a large amount of the L-1 visas. By decreasing the amount of L-1 visas available to Indian personnel, many organizations have resorted to using the H-1b visa to ensure that their personnel are able to enter the United States and work. Finally, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Mayorkas announced on August 2, 2011 that foreign entrepreneurs could use non-immigrant and immigrant visas to obtain status in the United States. It is possible that a number of H-1b visas were absorbed by foreign entrepreneurs. While all of these reasons likely contributed to the quick rate at which the H-1b visas were used up, we believe that the high rate of denials of the L-1 visa at U.S. Consulates in India and the increased hiring occurring in the IT industry caused the cap to be reached at an earlier date.


  1. Is there any other reason for denial of large number of L1-Visa by US Consulate in India other than the large indian multi-national companies eating into the US Job market by transferring their talent across the company (nations) now that H1B is so restricted? These denials also seem to be the trend for H1-B candidates traveling on a vacation to India.

  2. there has been no change in the law however, there has been a major policy shift in the interpretation of the L regulations resulting in a significant tightening of the standards and thus scores of denials. The motivation is as you suspect, a desire to curb the use by large multi-national cos. that are perceived as taking away US jobs. Unfortunately, the result is an increase in outsourcing and a shrinking of the US tax base and a curb on investment in the US workforce. Probably not the result the administration was aiming for.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *