H-1B FY2019 Cap Season-No Procedural Changes

The American Immigration Lawyers Association(AILA) released a practice alert regarding the H-1B FY2019 Cap Season(AILA Doc. No. 18012505). It is confirmed by USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS) to AILA's SCOPS Liaison Committee that SCOPS is not anticipating any procedural changes for the FY2019 H-1B cap season.

USCIS intends to follow the same procedures that were used for the FY2018 H-1B season, which presumably would not include a pre-registration system. In addition, USCIS does not anticipate that premium processing will be suspended for non-cap H-1B petitions, though there may be a short suspension of premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions.


What is H-1B Cap?

There is an annual limit of 65,000 new H-1B visa petitions that can be approved in each fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. An additional 20,000 visas are available to applicants who hold U.S. master’s degrees. This limit is referred to as the “H-1B Cap.” On average, over 100,000 petitions are filed during the first week of April. These petitions will be placed in a lottery process during which USCIS will select up to 85,000 petitions for review. The petitions need to be filed on the first business day in April to ensure that the petition will be included in the year’s lottery for visa numbers. If the petitions are not selected, they will be returned with the checks for filing fees. Applicants should know whether their petitions have been selected within a few months of filing.

Please free feel to contact our office if you have any questions about the H-1B program.

Categories: H-1B, Immigration News