U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received sufficient H-1B petitions (regular and advanced degree cases) to reach the statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2016 (10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016).
Because the cap was met during the first five business days that employers could file petitions for FY2016, USCIS will hold a lottery in coming weeks to determine which cases to accept for processing and which to reject. USCIS will issue receipt notices to petitions that are chosen in the lottery and reject the rest, along with any cap-subject petitions received after April 7, 2015.
Cap-subject H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 may be submitted no earlier than April 1, 2016, for employment beginning on October 1, 2016.
The H-1B cap applies only to petitions for new employment and generally does not affect either employers who request H-1B extensions and changes of employer, or employers who are exempt from the cap. Employers who wish to sponsor an H-1B worker should contact Hunton & Williams to determine whether an exemption from the cap may be available or to develop the best strategy for mitigating the effects of the cap being reached.