U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2018 has been reached. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the additional 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree allotment, also known as the Master’s Cap. USCIS will therefore reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. However, please keep in mind USCIS suspended premium processing on April 3, 2017, for up to six (6) months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States if eligible for extension;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require specialized knowledge, which cannot be obtained from the local workforce. To qualify for the H-1B program, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher degree, or its equivalent that is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position;
- The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a Bachelor's degree in a field related to the position;
- The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a Bachelor's or higher degree.
For more information regarding H-1B visa petitions, please contact our office at (856) 222-0130.