H-1B Cap Refresh

17. Mar. 2016

With 11 business days until April, ILG is shifting its focus from case initiation to preparation and filing.  Read on for a refresh of how H-1B cases are handled:

  1. The annual limit/cap on new H-1Bs is 20,000 for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher, plus 65,000 for all other beneficiaries.
  2. USCIS will conduct a random selection process for all cases received during the first 5 business days of April to determine which cases will be adjudicated and which cases will be returned. A case received by USCIS on April 1st has the same chance of being selected for processing as a case received on April 7th (5th business day of April).
  3. Cases for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher will go through a random selection process for one of the 20,000 H-1Bs set aside for advanced U.S. degree holders, and if not selected, will be entered into the general pool for one of the 65,000 H-1Bs.
  4. USCIS adjusts its premium processing practice due to the surge in demand for PP service. This year, USCIS will only commit to PP H-1B cap-subject petitions no later than May 16, 2016.  This means the 15-day clock for USCIS to adjudicate may not start until May 16theven though the petition is received in the first week of April.