FY2017 H-1B Cap Now Open
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has opened the filing period on Friday, April 1st, 2016, for new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (October 1st, 2016 to September 30th, 2017).
It is anticipated that USCIS will receive more H-1B visa petitions than available under the FY2017 quota, which allows for 65,000 Bachelor’s degree holders with an additional 20,000 reserved for U.S. Master’s degree holders. If the statutory quota is reached in the first few days of filing, any cap-subject petitions received between April 1st and April 7th will become a part of a computer-generated random lottery selection process. Any petitions received at USCIS on or after April 8th will be rejected. When the selection process occurs, USCIS will begin with the H-1B visa petitions submitted seeking an advanced-degree (U.S. Master’s degree) exemption. Petitions not chosen for this category will automatically become part of the random selection process for petitions filed under the general Bachelor’s degree statutory cap. Any petitions that are not selected under the statutory cap will be rejected and returned with the filing fees. USCIS has not yet commented on when this selection process would take place, and it is not clear when USCIS will notify petitioners and their attorneys of the results of the random selection process. However, it will likely take a few weeks for the random selection process to be completed and for petitioners to be notified by USCIS. Last year for FY2016, USCIS conducted the lottery selection process on April 13th, 2015.
Gibney will work with any impacted clients to explore alternatives and options for employees who have not been able to obtain an H-1B visa number under the FY2017 cap.
Petitions filed on behalf of existing H-1B nonimmigrant workers, such as petitions seeking an extension of status or a change of employer, are not subject to the cap and therefore will continue to be accepted.
If you have any questions, please contact your designated Gibney representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.