- FY 2015 H-1B Cap Has Been Reached
- April 10, 2014
- Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
USCIS has announced that the annual limit for Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B employment has been met. The agency has received more than enough petitions to use up the standard H-1B cap of 65,000 and the cap exemption of 20,000 for foreign nationals holding U.S. advanced degrees. USCIS will continue to accept cap filings today, but will reject any filings received April 8 or later. After today, USCIS will not accept cap-subject H-1B petitions until April 1, 2015.
To choose the FY 2015 cases that will be processed to completion, USCIS will run two lotteries. The first will select enough cases to meet the exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. The second lottery chooses from all remaining cases, including those not selected in the advanced-degree lottery, to draw enough filings to fill the standard quota of 65,000.
Because of the large number of cap filings, USCIS has not specified when it will complete initial case intake and run the lotteries. As such, it could take several days or weeks for the agency to issue filing receipts and announce the total number of cap filings. USCIS is set to begin premium processing for FY 2015 cap cases no later than April 28.
Last year, some 124,000 H-1B cap petitions were filed and roughly 62.5 percent of the standard cap cases received were chosen in the lottery. This year, the volume of H-1B cap petitions is expected to be much higher and the likelihood of selection in the lotteries consequently lower.
What This Means for Employers
Employers should be prepared to wait several weeks to learn whether their cases were accepted in the H-1B cap lotteries. If any of your organization’s cap filings are not chosen, your Fragomen professional can assist in identifying alternatives for affected employees.