USCIS recently announced on its website an updated the tally of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the H-1B cap. As of April 20, USCIS has received approximately 44,000 H-1B petitions that will count toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 general cap. As such, USCIS has advised that the agency will continue to accept petitions subject to the general cap.
Additionally, USCIS reports to have received approximately 20,000 petitions for foreign nationals with advanced degrees. Notwithstanding, USCIS advises that it will continue to accept advanced degree petitions as prior experience dictates that all Masters Cap petitions received are not necessarily approvable. Congress mandates that the first 20,000 of the Masters Cap petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.
This presents a very unique opportunity for those employers who may have opted not to file H-1B petitions for otherwise eligible workers because of the potential for wasted efforts and resources should such petitions not be selected in the anticipated lottery. This is not to say that no such risk exists; however, based upon this updated news, it appears there is plenty of availability under the regular cap, as well as a window of opportunity under the U.S. master's cap if you act promptly.
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Post Authored By: Scott R. Malyk, Esq. of Meyner and Landis LLP