Immigration Law - H-1B Filing Season Is Here with Deadlines Fast Approaching

Submitted by Firm:
Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.
Firm Contacts:
Abtin Mehdizadegan, J. Bruce Cross, Misty Wilson Borkowski
Article Type:
Legal Update

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2017 cap as of April 1, 2016. The congressionally mandated cap for FY 2017 is 65,000 H-1B visas. As has been the case in recent years, USCIS expects to receive more than 65,000 petitions during the first five business days of this year's program. When the H-1B cap is met, USCIS will resort to the computer-administered lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap. USCIS will reject all unselected petitions that are subject to the cap as well as any petitions received after the cap has closed. Last year, all petitions that were filed after the first week in April were not included in the lottery. H-1B petitioners may continue to request premium processing-a service that typically provides employers with a response within fifteen calendar days of receipt-on a delayed schedule. USCIS will begin premium processing cap-subject H-1B petitions no later than May 16, 2016.