by Chris Musillo

In a surprise to no-one, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap of 85,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

As in the last few years, USCIS will use a computer-generated process (H-1B lottery) to randomly select H-1B petition “winners”. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions.

USCIS’ press release indicates that it cannot yet determine when it will conduct the random selection process. USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing no later than May 11, 2015.

International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as “H-1B transfer” cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.

Likewise, H-1B extensions and amendments are also not subject to the H-1B cap. MU Law recently posted a blog on alternatives to the H-1B cap, which you can access here.

Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.