H1-B applications could fall this year

Contractors that want H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers can begin filing their applications April 1. The visas allow foreign workers to participate on federal information technology projects. Some observers said they believe the recession this year could reduce the number of applications.

In past years, the demand reached the cap set by Congress within days, and the number of days has decreased year by year, except for last year. However, because companies in general are downsizing, they might need fewer visas this year.

The chart shows the number of days that have passed between the opening of the period and the maximum allowable number of applications coming in. Companies file the applications in the fiscal year prior to the one in which the visas are issued, so for example, companies filed fiscal 2009 applications starting in April 2008.

  • Fiscal 2005: 183 days
  • Fiscal 2006: 131 days
  • Fiscal 2007: 55 days
  • Fiscal 2008: 1 day
  • Fiscal 2009: 7 days

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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