by Chris Musillo

On May 3, 2017, the USCIS announced that it completed the data entry for the 2017 (FY 2018) H-1B cap season. MU Law believes that it has received all of the H-1B receipts that it will receive this year. Our in-house receipt numbers mirror the overall 42% receipt number.

H-1B Cap Approval Notices and RFEs. Last week, Musillo Unkenholt received its first 2017 H-1B cap approval notices. We have also received our first 2017 H-1B cap Requests for Evidence. It is unclear how long it will take the USCIS to issue approvals and RFEs for the H-1B cap cases.

H-1B Returned Petitions. Musillo Unkenholt has not yet received any returned H-1B cap-subject petitions from USCIS. Last year, we continued to receive unselected petitions into August. Our hope is that the USCIS will be faster in light of the 20% decline in H-1B cap petition filings.

H-1B Premium Processing. What is also unknown is the state of the Premium Processing Service (PPS) for H-1B petitions. In March the USCIS revealed that it would be suspending PPS for all H-1B petitions, including cap-subject, amendments, and extensions, for as long as 6 months. A 6-month suspension of H-1B PPS means that H-1B PPS could be suspended until October 1, 2017. USCIS has made no announcement as to whether it will shorten the H-1B PPS suspension since so few H-1B cap petitions were filed.

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