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H-1B Cap Reached for 2017 Fiscal Year


The cap for issuing H-1B Visas is 65, 000 per fiscal year. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just reported that the cap for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 has been reached. Furthermore, there is an excess in the number of petitions—a 20, 000 cap—of H-1B visas that are filed with the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

The Petition Selection Process

The USCIS uses a lottery system to randomize the petition selection of 65, 000 visas and 20, 000 visas under the advanced degree exemption. The 20, 000 advanced degree petitions are selected first at random. The advanced degree petitions are then sent to the pool for the general petitions.

The filing period for H-1B Visas ended on April 7. At this time, the USCIS has not yet announced the date when the selection process will begin.

USCIS Allows for Some Exemptions to the FY Cap

Petitions that are exempt from the cap will still be accepted by the USCIS. Such petitions may include current H-1B Visa holders who have been included in the cap in previous years and may still retain their status.

USCIS is currently accepting the following:

  • An extension for the amount of time an H-1B worker can stay in the U.S.
  • Changes to the terms of employment for H-1B workers
  • Will allow current H-1B workers to change their employment
  • Will allow current H-1B workers to work a second H-1B job

H-1B Visas are issued to foreign nationals who have highly specialized skills or knowledge, or may be applying to work in a job that requires at least the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. These areas may encompass education, science, architecture, computer programming, engineering, and medicine.

If you require assistance with your H-1B visa petition or any immigration matter, please contact Mathur Law Offices, P.C. and schedule a consultation. We offer personalized and dedicated legal support!