Over the H-1B Limit
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it has hit the congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2016, and also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will use a lottery system to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption. First, USCIS will use the lottery to select petitions for the advanced degree exemption. Then, all unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the lottery for the 65,000 general limit.
USCIS said it’s not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the lottery.
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, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap.
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 agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.