H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 H-1B cap was reached as of April 7, 2016.

USCIS received more than the allotted number of H-1B petitions during the filing period that began on April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will complete 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 agency will conduct the selection process first for the advanced-degree exemption. All advanced-degree petitions not selected will then become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

USCIS also announced that it would begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases by May 16, 2016, which guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time for those H-1B cap cases that requested premium processing service and are selected in the lottery for processing.
USCIS has not yet announced the number of H-1B cap-subject petitions that it received during the filing period. Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm will continue to monitor the announcements and provide additional information once USCIS has completed its 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 will not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY2017 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.