The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2016 Fiscal Year on April 1, 2015, and by all estimates, the number of H-1B applications this year will exceed the number of applications received last year. In the first week of April 2014, the USCIS received 172,500 H-1B applications for a total of 85,000 available H-1B visas (65,000 regular H-1B visas and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for those with a U.S. Master’s degree or higher).
Assuming the demand again exceeds the supply for available H-1B visas, all cap-subject H-1B applications received in the first five (5) business days of April will be included in the lottery. Meaning, the USCIS will continue to accept cap-subject H-1B applications until April 7, 2015, and will then hold the lottery to determine which ones are rejected and which ones will be considered for adjudication. Employers and prospective H-1B employees will nervously wait until the end of April 2015 (if the H-1B was filed with premium processing service) and possibly even the end of May (if the H-1B was filed with regular processing service) to find out if their H-1B was selected in the lottery.
While we may still be months away from knowing which H-1B applications were selected in the lottery, employers and prospective employees are encouraged to consider other options in lieu of an H-1B, especially in light of the small percentage of total applications that can legally be selected. The following is a list of several alternatives to the H-1B:
We encourage all employers filing cap-subject H-1Bs and all prospective H-1B employees to prepare for the possibility of having their H-1Bs rejected and to have a plan B in place in such an event. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Please contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. to discuss alternatives to the H-1B.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.