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FY 2015 H-1B Cap reached in 4 days!

By Thomas M Lee

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2015 has been received. It has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption.

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. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov.

In total, the USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the April 1 filing period in just 4 days. On April 10, 2014, the USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.

The selection process for the advanced degree exemption began first. All advanced degree petitions not selected then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

The USCIS previously announced that it would begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than April 28.

Note: the 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 2015 H-1B cap. The 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.

The cap-subject petitions which were not randomly selected will be rejected and returned with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing. Hence, employers who wish to know immediately whether their petitions won the lottery should check with their banks and see if their filing fees checks have been cashed by the USCIS.

Please note that the information I am providing here in this entry, or in my website is NOT to be construed as legal advice nor is it meant to form an attorney-client relationship. For a free legal consultation by phone, please call or email me anytime.