U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 as well as the cap of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the regular cap under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year 2019 (“FY 2019”).
Consequently, USCIS will institute its computer generated random selection process, first to select the 20,000 advanced degree petitions and subsequently to select 65,000 petitions from among the remaining advanced degree petitions not initially selected and the regular H-1B cap petitions.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. However, please keep in mind USCIS announced on March 20, 2018 that they have temporarily suspended premium processing through September 10, 2018 for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2019 H-1B cap. USCIS will also 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 H-1B visa classification is for temporary employment of foreign professionals in specialty occupations, including but not limited to, information technology professionals, business analysts, financial managers, engineers, architects, allied health professionals such as physical therapists as well as fashion models.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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