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H-1B Cap Update

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) starting on April 2, 2018 and ending on April 6, 2018. These petitions are subject to an annual cap and once the cap is reached, no additional applications will be accepted.

Individuals who are in F-1 international student status and are seeking to change status to H-1B or others who are outside of the United States will require a cap-subject H-1B petition to be filed on their behalf if they have never held H-1B status previously.

These H-1B category is integral in allowing U.S. companies to add highly skilled foreign workers to their workforce in specialty occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree for entry into the occupation or positions that require. In other words, the H-1B category helps fill the U.S. positions such as teachers, software developers, doctors, engineers, economists, or scientists with the best and brightest individuals from other countries.

The number of new H-1B visas available each year is subject to annual limitations that are set by Congress. Currently, the annual limit is 65,000 with an added 20,000 visa numbers for H-1B applicants who have obtained advanced degrees from accredited, non-profit U.S. academic institutions.

If UCSIS receives more cap-subject H-1B petitions than the annual limit, it conducts a computer-generated random lottery selection process of all petitions that have been received. The first lottery is limited to people who possess advanced degrees from qualified U.S. academic institutions, but, if an advanced degree holder is not selected in the first lottery, his or her petition will get a second bite at the apple in the general lottery.

Those who wish to apply for FY 2019 should be preparing 6-8 weeks ahead of the deadline to draft the petition for filing. USCIS generally anticipates the H-1B cap to be reached immediately and will confirm that is will accept these petitions during the first five available filing days. Because the H-1B cap will likely be immediately exceeded, employers should file all cap-subject H-1B petitions to reach USCIS within the filing window of April 2-6, 2018. No cap-subject applications will be accepted before or after these dates.

If you need help applying for an H-1B cap subject visa, talk to one of our skilled Dallas immigration attorneys as soon as possible. We can offer you more than 20 years of experience in handling complex immigration law. Akula & Associates, P.C. believes in helping individuals achieve their employment goals in the United States by offering 100% personalized, client-focused attention. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (844) 299-5003 or fill out our online form today!