The USCIS announced today that, as of April 2, it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the 65,000 cap for new H-1Bs. Unbelievably, according to the attached USCIS press release, USCIS received 150,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions yesterday – the first day that CIS was accepting cap-subject petitions. We have confirmed that all of our cap-subject petitions were delivered and counted among the 150,000.
At this time, CIS is unable to determine whether the separate cap for persons holding U.S. Master’s degrees has been met.
Here’s the problem, as we previously described in our recent client alert: On the day that CIS declares that they have reached the H-1B cap, USCIS will subject all H-1B filings to a random lottery system. The first 65,000 bachelor’s cap-subject petitions selected in this lottery drawing will be officially accepted for processing against the cap. Remaining petitions will be rejected by USCIS and returned to us (with the filing fees). USCIS has indicated that may take several weeks to complete this lottery process. Until the lottery is completed, sponsoring employers and candidates will not be informed whether their petitions have been officially accepted under the cap.
The press release contains additional details. We will provide updates as we receive them.
Please note that petitions filed to extend or amend H-1B employment for foreign workers already in H-1B status and new workers to be employed by institutions of higher education or related nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations are not subject to the H-1B cap.
Please contact your Ogletree Deakins attorney with any questions.
Note: This article was published in the April 3, 2007 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.