USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2018
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this morning it has reached the statutorily mandated cap of H-1B visas for fiscal year 2018. Congress has authorized a maximum number of 65,000 H-1B visas to be issued annually, plus an additional 20,000 per year for H-1B beneficiaries with at least a master’s degree from a U.S. university. USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions on Monday, April 3, and so it took the agency only four business days to receive the sufficient number of petitions this year.
Cap-subject petitions that USCIS receives after this morning’s announcement will be rejected and returned, along with the associated filing fees. USCIS will continue to process H-1B petitions that aren’t factored into the cap, which includes petitions for H-1B employees who have been counted toward the annual cap previously and retained their cap numbers. Among the additional types of H-1B petitions USCIS will continue to adjudicate are those seeking to prolong the time current H-1B beneficiaries can remain in the U.S., to alter current H-1B workers’ employment terms, to permit current H-1B employees to change employers, and to permit current H-1B employees to work concurrently under a second H-1B petition. However, note that, for up to the next six months, the temporary suspension of premium processing for both cap-subject and cap-exempt petitions remains in effect.
USCIS will make an additional public announcement as soon as it begins the two-step, computer-generated lottery to award cap-subject H-1B visas.
As more information becomes available, updates will be published on our news section.
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