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H1B Visa – Centralized Filing for Certain H-1B Cap-Exempt cases

The H1B season is certainly here, USCIS announced that effective January 30, 2008, certain cap exempt H-1B petitions should be filed with the California Service Center, where they will be processed by a dedicated unit. It seems that the government is getting ready for the massive filing attack due on April 1, 2008, so they are taking steps to ease the pressure.

What H1B cases are actually cap exempt?
H-1B “cap exempt” petitions, as referenced here, include petitions filed by:
• Institutions of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 1001(a);
• Nonprofit organizations or entities related to or affiliated with institutions of higher education; and
• Nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations, as defined in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C). Such institutions and organizations can indicate that their H-1B filing is cap exempt by marking Form I-129 (Petition of Non-Immigrant Worker) with a “yes” answer to questions 1, 2, or 3 in Part C of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (page 10).

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H-1B petitioners are now encouraged to use the following special mailing address for qualifying H-1B cap exempt petitions. To determine if your petition qualifies, please make sure your institution or organization fits one of the categories listed above.

For Direct Mail: U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services California Service Center ATTN: CAP EXEMPT H-1B Processing Unit P.O. BOX 30040 Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-3004
For non-United States Postal Service (USPS) deliveries (e.g. private couriers):
U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services California Service Center ATTN: CAP EXEMPT H-1B Processing Unit 24000 Avila Road, Room 2312 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
TIP :

Each H-1B petitioner is encouraged to mark the outside of the envelope and the top margin of the I-129 form, with “EXEMPT.” This will ensure quick identification of the H-1B filing throughout the petition’s processing at CSC.