04/08/2017 - FY2018 H-1B Cap Reached

On Monday, April 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) started receiving H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2018 filed by employers on behalf of individuals who have never been in H-1B status, or whose prior employer was a cap-exempt employer, i.e., colleges, universities, and non-profit or government research organizations.  

There are 65,000 visa numbers available, with an additional 20,000 for those beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees.  (Please note that 5800 of the 65,000 however are allocated to the H-1B1 program, reserved for citizens of Singapore and Chile.)  Yesterday afternoon USCIS announced that the cap has been reached, i.e., more than 65,000 petitions (and more than 20,000 petitions for individuals with U.S. advanced degrees) were received.  Last year, over 230,000 petitions were received within the first five days of filing.  The rule is that if more petitions than the available number of visas are received, then a lottery will be conducted to determine which of the petitions will be processed.

USCIS should be making an announcement regarding the lottery shortly.  Stay tuned for more updates!  

Please note that this information has been provided for educational purposes only.  Contact your Clark Lau LLC attorney regarding the specifics of your situation.

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