FY2016 H-1B Cap Reached; USCIS Will Conduct Lottery
As expected, the FY2016 H-1B Cap has been reached in the first week filings were permitted.
USCIS will conduct a lottery for all petitions received from Wednesday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 7.
Please note that any cases received at USCIS by close of business April 7 will be included in the lottery.
Cases selected in the lottery: LAC will forward the receipt notice for any petitions selected in the lottery to the employee (via the employer) as soon as it is received.
Cases not selected in the lottery: USCIS will return all H-1B petitions that are not selected in the lottery to counsel, with the government filing fees. We will notify impacted clients upon receipt of the returned petitions, and promptly refund the USCIS filing fees to the employer.
USCIS issued the following Press Release Today
Release Date: April 07, 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will first randomly select petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.
Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
• Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
• Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
• Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
• Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.
We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Cap Season Web page.