U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7 that the fiscal year (FY) 2015 statutory cap for H-1B visa petitions (65,000) has already been reached. The limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption has also been exceeded.
All files received during the filing period, which was concluded on April 7, will be processed for initial intake. The USCIS does not yet know when the random selection process will be conducted due to the high number of petitions.
A computer will run the random selection process for all H-1B visas in the general category in addition to those under the advanced degree exemption. Rejected petitioners will have their filing fees refunded, but not for duplicate petitions.
Petitions under the advanced degree exemption will be selected first. The petitions rejected in this initial process will be part of the selection process for those in the general category.
Any petitions unaffected by the cap can still be filed and will be processed by USCIS. Petitions filed by current H-1B employees will not be counted towards the FY 2015 H-1B cap. Other H-1B related petitions can be filed to:
- Lengthen a current H-1B worker’s stay in the US;
- Adjust terms of employment;
- Allow a switch of employers; and
- Allow work at another H-1B job position.
The H-1B program allows foreign employees in “specialty occupations”, such as engineering or computer science, to work in the U.S. under an American employer.
If you desire to work in the U.S. but have not applied for an H-1B visa in time, do not give up. You may have other avenues of getting into this country. Speak with the knowledgeable New Jersey immigration law attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo to find out what your other legal options may be.