On April 1, 2016, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2017 cap. Beneficiaries of successful FY 2017 H-1B petitions will be eligible to start working in the U.S. on October 1, 2016.
April 1 is approaching fast. If you are a prospective H-1B employer or employee, it is time for you to contact your immigration attorney now. Although it is not too late, it is definitely not too early.
The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. An additional 20,000 H-1Bs are available for those who have a U.S. Master's degree or higher.
As US economy continues to improve, it is widely anticipated that many employers will seek H-1B’s for their potential employees this April 2016. Hence, the H-1B cap is expected to fill during the 1st week of April 2016, and we are most definitely looking at another H-1B lottery this year!
Despite the lottery, I personally think that there will be a significant drop on the number of H-1B petitions this year.
This is because that
(1) certain H-4 spouses can now apply for work authorizations, so H-1B is no longer necessary for them, and
(2) there is an additional $4,000 filing fees imposed by USCIS for petitioners who employ more than 50 employees in the US, with more than 50 percent of those employees in H-1B or L nonimmigrant status.
As always, feel free to reach out to our office with any questions. We are your immigration law specialists, and we would be happy to navigate this busy season with you.
- Alan C. Chen, PC