Uncapped H-1B Visas

As you may know, annual H-1B issued is currently capped at 85,000 per year. What may be less commonly known under certain conditions H-1B employers may be exempt from this cap.

H-1B cap exempt employers (from H-1B Cap Exempt Jobs):

  • Institutions of Higher Education or Affiliated Entities
    • Based on Section 101 (a) of the Higher Education Act, an institution of higher education must adhere to the following criteria in order to be exempt from the H-1B cap:
      • Grants admission to students who have earned a secondary education.
      • Licensed by the proper institution to provide education beyond secondary school.
      • Offers educational programs which award bachelor’s degrees or a minimum of 2-years of education towards a degree.
  • Non-profit organizations associated with a government entity or an institute higher education.
    • According to USCIS guidelines, it suffices for the non-profit organization to be connected to an institution of higher learning by means of shared ownership/control, as a branch, member, or subsidiary.

Used MyVisaJobs Search Employer Database to obtain list of direct hire H-1B Cap Exempt employers’ Labor Condition Applications (LCA; this is an application to hire a H-1B, does not necessarily mean they actually hired a H-1B) by clicking ‘Cap Exempt’ and pressing search.


First 37 of the 100 returned results:

Screenshot from 2020-08-23 04-30-40

Colleges/Universities are the most common H-1B Cap Exempt employers, followed by hospitals and Federal Government agencies (National Institutes of Health, Oak Ridge National Laboratory are two examples). From another source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is among Tennessee‘s top five for approved H-1B LCA displacing American workers:


General Electric Company (H-1B visa rank 164), an obvious for-profit corporation, came in 8th for H-1B Cap Exempt employers. Apparently it must be for a non-profit research facility affiliated with a government agency or a College/University – possibly their Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY (listed as a separate entity on MyVisaJobs). Your tax dollars at work displacing American workers?

According to MyVisaJobs, Mayo Clinic has 260 Clinical Resident H-1B LCA. This begs the question – are all non-profit teaching hospitals H-1B medical residencies displacing American unmatched medical graduates cap exempt? If yes, no wonder ECFMG is so profitable.

Side note on Mayo Clinic‘s green card under PERM applications – 104 were for H-1B, 6 were for J-1, 2 for TN, 1 each for F-1, H-4, and O-1.

To obtain extremely rough guesstimate of total certified Cap Exempt H-1B LCA issued per year, took the average of 1st ranked University of Michigan (1,205) and 100th ranked Virginia Tech (297) and multiplied by 100, yields rough total 751,000 Cap Exempt H-1B LCA for 2017-2019. Divide by 3 to obtain yearly average, 250,333 Cap Exempt H-1B LCA per year. Note – this is a hypothetical maximum per year based on LCA, not a actual number of H-1B issued per year. For comparison, State Department’s Nonimmigrant Visa Statistics lists that 188,123 H-1B were actually issued/reissued 2019. Further compounding confusion DHS can only estimate current number of H-1B in America.