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H-1B Cap Update: 233,000 Petitions Received in First Week

18:46 14 April in News Updates
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USCIS Announces approximately 233,000 Cap Subject H-1B Petitions were received in the first week filing was permitted. Lottery Completed.

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: H-1B petitions that are not selected in the lottery will be returned 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.

Timeline for lottery notifications: USCIS has not provided a timeline yet for lottery notifications. Last year, receipt notices and rejected petitions went out from mid-April through June; that is, the notification process was not complete until June.

USCIS issued the following Press Release Today:
Release date: 4/13/2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2015 that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the masters cap.

USCIS received about nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 12, 2015, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015.

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 will also not be counted towards 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.

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