The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally-mandated
H-1B visa cap of 65,000 for the fiscal year 2019. In addition, the government agency
has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to fulfill the
20,000-visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, which is known as the “master’s
cap.” USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all unselected
cap-subject petitions that are allowed multiple filings.
The agency will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise
exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have
been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap
number, will also not be counted toward the FY 2019 H-1B cap.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to do any of
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may stay in the U.S.
USCIS began to accept H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2019 cap
on April 2, 2018. Petitioners may file for an H-1B visa no more than six
months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary.
To determine if an H-1B petition is subject to the FY 2019 cap of 65,000,
the agency uses the information provided in Sections 2 and 3 (or Part
C) of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. An
exemption from the H-1B cap for beneficiaries who have earned a U.S. master’s
degree or higher is available until the cap of 20,000 beneficiaries is reached.
The H-1B visa program is popular among U.S. businesses in order to employ
foreign workers in occupations that require specialized knowledge.
For more information about H-1B visas, request a
free initial consultation with our
Santa Barbara immigration attorney at
Appel & Morse today.