The USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions towards the FY 2017 Cap on
April 1, 2016. The lead time required to plan and prepare new cases in
time for the filing deadline makes it imperative that employers begin
the planning process as soon as possible.
In light of new regulations governing H-1B filings, it is also critical
that employers consult with their legal counsel in advance to plan a process
by which filings are fully compliant to regulatory mandates while at the
same time supportive of the business goals of companies.
With the harsh regulatory spotlight on H-1B Visas resulting from Congressional
actions and Presidential Campaign rhetoric, it is unclear what the number
of filings will be this year. Even then, it is expected that the quota
will be reached, like last year, within the first five days and a lottery
will be implemented.
As per the law, USCIS is mandated to accept cases until April 7th, 2016. For FY 2016, the USCIS received approximately 233,000 petitions.
65,000 regular H-1B visas for skilled workers and 20,000 H-1B visas for
Master’s degree holders from a U.S. university will be available
under the FY 2017 cap. Those picked in the lottery who have their petitions
and visa applications approved will be eligible to start work on October 1, 2016.
Please feel free to contact our firm with any questions or issues that
you may have. You may reach us via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at
anindita@USILaw.com. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your organization
during this filing season.