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USCIS Begins Accepting H-1B Petitions subject to the FY 2020 Cap

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Today, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2020 cap. Any FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 1st will be rejected.

Beginning today, 65,000 H-1B visas will be available for the regular cap, and 20,000 H-1B visas for advanced degree holders.

Selection

Important changes will be implemented for the H-1B cap selection process.

In January, the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule amending regulations governing cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption.

The final rule reverses the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, which will be in effect for the FY 2020 cap season.

USCIS will first select H-1B petitions submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption.

Premium Processing Available for COS Cap Subject H-1B Petitions Only

Starting April 1, FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, may request premium processing by concurrently filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

However, to prioritize data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will not begin premium processing for these petitions immediately. USCIS will begin premium processing for these petitions no later than May 20, 2019, and will notify the public before premium processing begins for these petitions.

Premium processing for all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not begin until at least June 2019.

What’s next? 

USCIS will make an announcement via their website once the lottery has been completed and the cap has been reached.

USCIS will begin mailing receipt notices for selected petitions in April and continue this practice until May.

H-1B petitioners should monitor their bank accounts closely over the next few weeks. If the filing fees have been charged to the petitioner’s account, that means that the H-1B petition was selected.

USCIS will not begin mailing out unselected H-1B petitions until around June through the month of July.

Our office expects to begin receiving unselected H-1B packages beginning in the month of June.

For more information on what to expect in the coming weeks, please click here.

Best of luck to all applicants!