Invalidating a competitive process
However, the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 made a more long-term but weaker increase in the number of H-1B slots: specifically, the first 20,000 applicants with Masters degrees would be exempt from the cap of 65,000.
This section introduced what has now become known as the "uncapped H-1B".
The act sought to increase to 195,000 the caps for fiscal years 2001 to 2003 and retroactively raise the caps for 1999 (to include all cases approved after the cap was raised and before October 1, 2000) and for 2000 (to include all cases filed after the cap was reached and before September 1, 2000).
This temporary increase was not extended 2004 onward.
Although the language of the Act references the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the INS would soon be restructured and the functions of the INS referenced in AC21 would be handled by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
AC21 made unused slots from a given country available for use for the general category.While AC21 focused on the problem of skilled workers (both non-immigrant workers in H-1B status and immigrant workers in the employment-based immigration categories, corresponding to USCIS Form I-129 and Form I-140 respectively), the primary focus of the LIFE Act was family-based immigration (the IR and F categories, corresponding to USCIS Form I-130).