U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the FY 2017 cap on April 1st, 2016.
Congress has set the H-1B cap for FY 2017 at 65,000 visas for the regular cap and 20,000 visas for the higher education exemption, for a total of 85,000 visas.
However, not all H-1B visa are subject to this annual cap. USCIS noted that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 for Chile and Singapore immigrants under the free trade agreements. Unused visas from this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year (2018).
H-1B workers in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are exempt from the H-1B cap if their employers filed the petition before December 31st, 2019.
H-1B petitioners have the benefits of having the Premium Processing option to have their petition processed within 15 calendar days. The extra fee is worthwhile to have the process sped up, so that both the petitioner company and the beneficiary can prepare to consular process or adjust their status, in order to move forward with the plans for the new position.
For more information, visit the USCIS website.
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.