Invalidating a competitive process
One obvious effect of this was to reduce the pressure on the numerical cap, making it easier for those changing jobs but also reducing the competition for first-time cap-subject applicants.Another effect, particularly in future years when the cap would get filled in the first week of April (six months before the start of the fiscal year on October 1), was that people could switch jobs between employers without having to wait for the right time of year to make the transition, and without the six-month lead time that is de facto necessary for cap-subject applications.
This section introduced what has now become known as the "uncapped H-1B".
Prior to AC21, all H-1B visas were counted towards the annual cap.
Section 103 provided that employees of higher educational institutions, nonprofit research organizations, and government research organizations would not be counted toward the H-1B cap.
While the main purpose of ACWIA was to crack down on perceived fraud and misuse of the H-1B status, the main goal of AC21 was to make it easier to hire skilled workers in the United States.
The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act was passed on December 21, 2000, shortly after the passage of AC21, by the same Congress.