You’ve likely been flooded with information regarding H-1B season from multiple sources. Yesterday, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued its own information(http://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-will-accept-h-1b-petitions-fiscal-year-2016-beginning-april-1-2015) regarding Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016) H-1B petitions.
Here is a summary:
- USCIS will accept cap-subject FY 2016 H-1B petitions beginning April 1, 2015.
- The FY 2016 H-1B cap remains at 65,000. The first 20,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions for those with a US master or higher degree do not count toward the 65,000 cap.
- USCIS anticipates receiving more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions during the first 5 business days of April 2015. If this happens, USCIS will again use a lottery to randomly select sufficient petitions to meet the cap.
- USCIS will issue a notice to the public when the FY 2016 H-1B cap has been met.
- Unselected cap-subject petitions and petitions received after the cap has closed will be rejected.
- Cases will be deemed accepted on the date when USCIS “takes possession of a properly filed petition with the correct fee.”
- Petitioners are reminded to follow regulatory requirements, which should help with avoiding delays and requests for evidence (RFEs).
- Due to the anticipated high volume of FY 2016 cap-subject H-1B petitions and to allow time to prioritize data entry, the 15-day premium processing clock will not begin on receipt of a petition. Instead, USCIS states that for FY 2016 cap-subject H-1B petitions, premium processing will begin no later than May 11, 2015.
- USCIS will provide” H-1B Cap Season email updates” for which you can subscribe on the H-1B 2016 Cap Season Web Page, which can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-fiscal-year-fy-2016-cap-season.
Happy H-1B season.
Ms. Wadhwani is a partner in the Immigration Practice Group at Fox Rothschild LLP. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.