H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2016

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On April 7, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that the H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2016 had been reached.

As predicted, between April 1 and April 7, 2015 - the initial filing period for H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2016 – USCIS received more than the maximum number of H-1B petitions filed by U.S. Employers on behalf of professional foreign workers in a specialty occupation.

In the coming days, the Agency will conduct two computer generated lotteries in order to select petitions that will be reviewed and adjudicated by the Agency for Fiscal Year 2016.  In the first lottery, USCIS will accept 20,000 petitions filed by employers on behalf of foreign nationals who hold a U.S. Master’s Degree. The second lottery will  include the remaining (unselected) petitions from first lottery for those with a U.S. Master’s Degree and petitions submitted by employers on behalf of workers holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher for the remaining 65,000 available H-1B visas for FY 2016.

Petitions selected for review under the random lottery will be receipted, reviewed and adjudicated by USCIS. Petitions that are not accepted under the lottery will be returned to the petitioning employers with the filing fees.

USCIS has not yet announced the number of petitions received during the initial filing period for FY 2016.

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