Tag Archive | H-1B Quota

Update on H-1B Cap Subject Petitions for FY2018: 199,000 Petitions Filed

  • On April 7, 2017, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 advanced degree visas for FY2018.
  • On April 17, 2017, USCIS announced that it had received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3. This represents a 15.7 percent decrease from the 236,000 petitions that USCIS received during last year’s filing period.

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USCIS has Reached the Congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017

Via USCIS.gov

Release Date: April 07, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. 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 cap. 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 2017 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) 2017 Cap Season Web page.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

H-1B Update: On May 4, 2015 USCIS Completed Data Entry of FY 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions and will begin Returning Rejected Cases

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 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, the time frame for returning these petitions is uncertain. USCIS asks petitioners to not 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 petitions have been returned.

Data Reveals USCIS Increasing Number of Requests for Evidence on L-1B Cases, California Service Center Continues to Lead Vermont Service Center in RFEs and Case Denials

Responding to a Freedom of Information request submitted by The American Immigration Lawyers Association Liaison, USCIS revealed interesting data on L-1B nonimmigrant petitions receipted, approved, denied, and those subjected to a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for FY2012 and FY2013.  The data, when compared with USCIS statistics and a National Foundation for American Policy report, both released in 2012, reveals that the L-1B denial rate increased from 27% in FY2011 to 30% in FY2012 and 34% in FY2013.

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H-1B visa filings for FY 2015 begin on April 1, 2014 – Another Lottery Expected

The H-1B program is used by U.S. corporation to employ foreign professional workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields.  The program allows for about 85,000 new H-1B workers each Fiscal Year, a paltry number in the face of the U.S.’s need for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) workers.  In an interview with Reuters last year, I predicted that 2013’s H-1B quota would be exhausted instantly – something that had not occurred since 2008.  I was subsequently proven correct as USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, each vying for one of the 85,000 “slots” available. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (the “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit.

This year, the Fiscal Year 2015 Cap season will begin on April 1, 2014 and I anticipate an even larger number of H-1B applications.  This prediction is based not only on the strengthening national economy but also because U.S. Immigration authorities have reduced or eliminated other possible options for U.S. companies in acquiring STEM professional workers.  Despite the tremendously positive impact that H-1B visa holders make in this country (including the substantial revenue the hefty H-1B application fees generate for USCIS and U.S. worker training programs nationwide), they are treated poorly by U.S. Immigration authorities.  H-1B employers and beneficiaries suffer from absurdly high query rates and illogical consular delays.  Many also subject to unusually long delays in filing for Permanent Residence, for example, an Indian born Software Engineer currently faces a wait time of eleven (11) years to obtain an employment based third preference (EB-3) green card.

As I have previously stated, our national immigration policy should emphasize our immediate need: to retain and increase our advanced degree professionals so that the we can continue to compete internationally and maintain our lead in new technologies.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is to take concrete steps towards increasing the H-1B cap amount to 250,000.

Canada exploits U.S. neglect of its Foreign Professional (H-1B) workers by offering Special Visa option

fields a question from a community member at t...

J. Kenney fields a question from a community member at the All Candidates Forum at McKenzie Lake Community Centre in Calgary’s Southeast on January 14th, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In recent years, U.S. immigration policy has repeatedly ignored the needs of its skilled and professional non-immigrant workforce and has instead burdened them with long waits for a green card, absurdly high query rates and illogical consular delays.  Nowhere is more apparent than in the case of H-1B Professional workers.  An Indian born Software Engineer currently faces a wait time of eleven (11) years to obtain an employment based third preference (EB-3) green card.  In comparison, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill currently under negotiation in DC would provide millions of undocumented workers green cards in ten (10) years.

Just a month and a half after the U.S. turned away tens of thousands of specialized professionals (holding U.S. job offers) by refusing to increase its yearly H-1B quota levels, another nation has moved to reap the benefits of U.S. missteps.

Canada is aggressively appealing to these H-1B professional workers, even going to the extent of securing a billboard just outside Silicon Valley which reads:

“H-1B problems? Pivot to Canada. New Start-Up Visa, Low Taxes”

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FY2014 H-1B Cap Update – 04/16/2013

AILA indicates that USCIS has initiated the data entry process for H-1B petitions selected in the lottery. Premium processing cases are being handled first and data entry for those cases should be completed by April 15.  Our firm has been receiving Premium processing notices since last week.

Data entry for non-premium processing cases will begin after entries for premium processing cases are completed, likely not until May (like in 2008).  Rejection notices for petitions not selected in the lottery will be issued subsequently.

USCIS Cap: Approx. 124,000 H-1B Petitions filed between April 1 and April 5 for approx. 83K Visas Available (incl. Adv. Degree Cap/Reg Cap Minus Singapore/Chile)

VIA USCIS.GOV

WASHINGTON—For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.   

USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

 The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

 As announced on March 15, 2013, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its premium processing practice. To facilitate the prioritized data entry of cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013.  For more information on premium processing for FY 2014 cap-subject petitions, please see the related USCIS Alert.

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 not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated FY 2014 H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
  • 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 specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields including, but not limited to: scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

ENTIRE YEAR’S H-1B CAP MET ON APRIL 5, 2013, AS USCIS HAD PREDICTED. THIS IS CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT INCREASED H-1B NUMBERS URGENTLY NECESSARY

USCIS’ announcement (late last month) that it anticipated the entire year’s cap would be met in within a week of the cap opening on April 1, 2013 was a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We have learned that the cap is indeed exhausted.  This is undisputed evidence that H-1B visa numbers must be increased in order for this country to remain competitive globally.  

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process. Also, USCIS is currently not providing the total number of petitions received, as we continue to accept filings today. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. 

USCIS will provide more detailed information about the H-1B cap next week.

Fedex appears to be experiencing trouble with the sheer volume of H-1B petitions filed

By Ashwin Sharma

Several of the Cap Subject H-1B professional worker cases we submitted to USCIS via overnight Fedex from Saturday onward show no tracking information updates. Other sources are also indicating that Fedex is experiencing difficulty handling the sheer volume of H-1B applications filed.  

Ashwin Sharma interviewed by Reuters on U.S. demand for skilled worker visas topping quota

Ashwin Sharma interviewed by Reuters on U.S. demand for skilled worker visas topping quota.

Preliminary paperwork that prospective visa seekers must file with the Department of Labor before applying to USCIS indicates that there is demand for well over 65,000 visas, said Jacksonville, Florida-based lawyer Ashwin Sharma, who handles H-1B visa applications for technology consulting firms. He expects a record volume of applications this year.

CNN’s Michael Beckerman: Give more visas to foreign-born workers

CNN’s Michael Beckerman: Give more visas to foreign-born workers

Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association, shares his thoughts on the state of the H-1B professional visa and why the H-1B quota should be increased.