VisaU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it received roughly 233,000 H-1B petitions for skilled foreign workers this year, which is believed to be a new record for the highly sought visa category.

USCIS said it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions in just five business days, which an agency representative said is most likely a record number of applications. The figure surpassed last year’s total of 172,500 petitions.

The H-1B visa program administered by USCIS uses a lottery process to pick petitions for the 65,000 H-1B visa cap, as well as the 20,000 H-1B slots reserved for foreign workers with master’s degrees or higher from U.S. colleges and universities.

As the fulfillment of the cap was reached within the first week, it seems to demonstrate that the market demand for this visa outweighs its availability, with some added disappointment for many visa hopefuls to consider alternative visa options.