April 8, 2016
For the fourth straight year, the H-1B Cap has been filled in the first week in which cap-subject H-1B petitions are accepted (April 1 – 7). USCIS will run a random lottery to determine which of the petitions received during this week will be accepted under the cap and processed.
The current annual cap on H-1B admissions is 65,000 workers, plus an additional 20,000 for holders of U.S. Master’s degrees or higher. Last year USCIS received nearly 233,000 cap-subject petitions for these 85,000 available slots – an all time record. If that record is broken yet again this year, it’s likely that fewer than 1 out of every 3 petitions will even be processed, bringing into sharp relief the need for legislation to increase the cap.
Cap-exempt employers – including colleges and universities and related or affiliated non-profit entities, non-profit research organizations, and governmental research organizations – are free to file an H-B petition at any time of the year.