USCIS will begin accepting H1B petitions on April 1st, 2017 for visas for fiscal year 2018.
The annual cap is 65,000 for candidates with bachelor’s degrees, and another 20,000 for candidates with master’s degrees of higher. This cap has not changed. Last year, CIS received a record 236,000 petitions in the first five days of opening its doors to petitions, during which CIS is mandated to continue to accept petitions even if the cap is exceeded. After that point, the petitions go into a randomized lottery for review for approval.
Every year, more and more petitions have come in, exceeding the annual H1B cap in the first week. There will almost certainly be an H1B lottery again this year. That means if you or your employee or client has a cap-subject H1B job and is petitioning for a visa for FY2018, the petition MUST be filed on April 1st or very shortly after to make the lottery.
Make sure that when you file, everything you or your employee or client needs to get the visa approved is included. If you or your employee or client has a degree that doesn’t fit their job title, a foreign degree, a three-year bachelor’s degree, or any other unusual education situation, do not file without first consulting with a foreign credential evaluation agency that specializes in H1B visas. Making the lottery only to receive an RFE or worse is not worth the time, money, and energy.
About the Author
Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director at TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.