20 March 2018

Despite Earlier Indications, USCIS Announces Suspension of Premium Processing for all Cap Subject H-1B Petitions

USCIS just announced that it will SUSPEND Premium Processing for all Cap Subject H-1B petitions filed in the lottery for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019). This is expected to last until September 10, 2018.  Continue reading

28 February 2018

Issues to Consider if Filing in the H-1B Master’s Cap this Year

The current annual cap as set by Congress for new H-1B petitions is 65,000 (regular cap). An advanced degree exemption is available for the first 20,000 petitions filed for an individual who has obtained a U.S. Master’s degree or higher. This is commonly referred to as the “Master’s cap.”

If the cap is reached within the first 5 days of the new filing season, USCIS will stop accepting petitions and a computer-generated random selection process, also called the “lottery”, will be used to select petitions. Those with U.S. Master’s degrees are at an advantage because they essentially receive 2 shots in the lottery process.

The lottery system will first be conducted for the advanced degree exemption petitions (Master’s cap). Any petitions filed and not selected for those with a U.S. Master’s degree or higher will count against the regular cap.

Just because you have a U.S. Master’s degree does not always mean you are eligible to apply in the Master’s cap. Here’s why: Continue reading

Category: H-1B | LEAVE A COMMENT
7 February 2018

With H-1B Cap Season Just Around the Corner, Preparation is Key

On April 2nd, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the cap for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019). If you plan to hire a professional, foreign worker, preparation for the H-1B visa process should begin now. Based on last year’s numbers where USCIS received  199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, the cap will most certainly be reached in the first week of April 2018. If you miss the opportunity to file a new H-1B petition this year, you will not have the opportunity to file until April 2019.  Continue reading

Category: H-1B | LEAVE A COMMENT
3 January 2018

Are Major Changes Coming for H-1B Extensions Beyond the 6 Year Limit?

UPDATE FROM AILA 01/09/2018 

“In a news update on January 8, 2018, the McClatchy DC news service reported
that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that it not considering a
regulatory change to the H-1B extension rules, as had previously been reported in a December 30,
2017 article by McClatchy DC. In particular, USCIS stated to McClatchy DC that the agency is
not considering changing its interpretation of section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in
the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year
limit for H-1B workers who have reached certain milestones in the green card process. USCIS
went on to note that “such a change would not likely result in these H-1B holders having to leave
the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under
section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead.” USCIS did, however, indicate that the agency is considering
a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire
American” executive order, including conducting a “thorough review” of employment-based visa
programs.”


 

Over the last few days, news has spread regarding potential new regulations that could greatly impact H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limitation. The word around town is that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discussed the idea to stop H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit based on certain language found under the law. Continue reading

17 April 2017

USCIS Completes H-1B Lottery for FY2018!

USCIS has completed the H-1B cap random selection process. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, “lottery”, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 Bachelors cap and the 20,000 Masters cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced that 199,000 H-1B petitions were received in this filing period (last year 236,000 H-1B petitions were received during the cap season).  Continue reading

7 April 2017

USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

From USCIS: 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received enough H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption (master’s cap).

USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all non-selected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.  Continue reading

21 February 2017

H-1B Cap Season is Almost Here!

On April 3rd, 2017, USCIS will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the cap for Fiscal Year 2018. If you plan to hire a professional, foreign worker, you should begin preparation for the H-1B visa process now. Based on last year’s numbers where USCIS received 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, the cap will most certainly be reached in the first week of April 2017. If you miss the opportunity to file a new H-1B petition this year, you will not have the opportunity to file until April 2018. Continue reading

Category: H-1B | LEAVE A COMMENT
12 March 2016

Ready… Set… File! :-)

UPDATE, May 02, 2016

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

From USCIS: 

USCIS announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

Additionally, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition. If you are filing a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, to upgrade your Form I-129 H-1B petition to premium processing, send the completed Form I-907 with the appropriate fee to the center processing your petition. Continue reading

Category: H-1B | LEAVE A COMMENT
19 February 2016

It’s Almost Here! 2017 H-1B Cap Season Begins April 1st, 2016

On April 1st, 2016, USCIS will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the cap for Fiscal Year 2017. If you plan to hire a professional, foreign worker, you should begin preparation for the H-1B visa process now. Based on last year’s numbers where USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, the cap will most certainly be reached in the first week of April 2016. If you miss the opportunity to file a new H-1B petition this year, you will not have the opportunity to file until April 1st, 2017. Continue reading

Category: H-1B | LEAVE A COMMENT
23 July 2015

USCIS Final Guidance on H-1B Amended Petition for Change in Work Location

USCIS has issued its final guidance on when to file an amended or new H-1B petition when a change in work location occurs. As you may remember, on April 9, 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued a decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, requiring an amended H-1B petition to be filed if there is a change in work location that would require a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) to be filed. USCIS had initially issued guidance on this issue, but thereafter allowed for comments leading to the final policy below. Continue reading