Many of you are getting ready to file H-1B cases. USCIS has sent a new rule for publication which will makes several important announcements:

  • Employers are barred from filing duplicate H-1B applications for the same employee (even if the petitions are for different positions). There is an exception for related companies that file more than one petition for the same employee. All petitions by an employer for an employee will be barred if there are duplicate filings.   

  • Applications received on any of the first five business days beginning April 1st will be included in any lottery of H-1B petitions (this past year it was only for day one and two).

  • Petitioners claiming to be exempt from the cap who are later found to be subject to the cap will not get a refund of their fees.

  • If an application is received before April 1st, it will be rejected and a petition is deemed received when USCIS gets the application and stamps it received as opposed to the date it is postmarked.

  • Premium processing will not start until after the random selection process has been completed.

  • Master's cap cases (the 20,000 H-1Bs reserved for graduates of US graduate degree programs) will be adjudicated first and if there is a lottery for those cases, cases not selected in the master's cap will be thrown in to the general lottery for the 65,000 H-1Bs available.