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H1B Cap FY2015 Update

USCIS received approximately 172,500 petitions subject to the annual H1B cap during the FY2015 filing period, which began April 1, 2014, including petitions filed under the advanced degree H1B cap exemption. This means that nearly 85,000 H1B candidates will not receive an H1B for the coming fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014 (FY2015). It also means that if Congress does not act, H1B candidates who did not receive an H1B number for the coming fiscal year must wait until the beginning of the following fiscal year (FY2016, which begins October 1, 2015) to try once again for an H1B.

As reported earlier, as of April 7, 2014, USCIS received a sufficient number of H1B petitions subject to the annual FY2015 H1B cap to reach the statutory limit of 65,000 visas for fiscal year FY2015 (petitions with an employment start date of October 1, 2015). As of that date, USCIS also received more than the annual advanced degree H1B cap of 20,000 for FY2015.

On April 10, 2014, USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general H1B cap and 20,000 advanced degree H1B. USCIS will reject and return each H1B petition that was not selected in the H1B lottery with all filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing. For H1B cap-subject petitions that were not randomly selected.

The agency conducted the lottery for the advanced degree H1B cap first. All advanced degree H1B petitions that were not selected in that advanced degree H1B lottery then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general H1B cap.

USCIS will begin premium processing for H1B cap cases no later than April 28, 2014.

USCIS will continue to accept and process H1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the annual H1B cap. H1B petitions filed on behalf of current H1B workers who have been counted previously against the annual H1B cap will not be counted towards the FY2015 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process H1B petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H1B worker may remain in the US;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H1B workers;
  • Allow current H1B workers to change employers; and,
  • Allow current H1B workers to work concurrently in a second H1B position.

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