June 01, 2006
USCIS Announced today that on May 26th, it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2007.
Cases received by USCIS on May 26th will go through a computerized random selection process so that USCIS does not process more cases than is allowed under the annual cap. Cases received by USCIS prior to May 26th will be processed while cases received after May 26th will be returned along with the filing fees.
Holders of US Master or higher Degrees
New H-1B cases for beneficiaries that possess a US master’s or higher degree will still be accepted as the annual limit of 20,000 on U.S. advance degree H-1Bs have not been reached. Approximately 6,000 of such cases have been filed so far.
Cases Not Subject to the Cap
Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers do not count toward the H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process change of employer H-1B petitions, H-1B extension petitions, petitions requesting a change in the terms of H-1B employment, and petitions for concurrent H-1B employment.
Possible Cap Increase
On May 25, 2006, the U.S. Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill. In addition to the highly publicized guest worker and legalization provisions, the bill would increase the H-1B cap to 115,000. Since the House of Representatives is backing immigration bills that are dissimilar, Congress members of each house must meet and agree on a single, compromise bill. If a compromise is reached, the conference bill must then be passed by both the Senate and the House. This process may take a number of months. We will provide updates as they become available.