The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this week that the 2018 cap for H-1B visas has been reached.
The USCIS received 199,000 petitions, a reduction on the 236,000 petitions filed for 2017.
The cap stands at 65,000 petitions for the general category, and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.
Petitions were selected at random, first for the advanced degree exemption category, to fill the quota of 20,000. Once this had been reached, all unselected petitions were included into the draw for the general category. All unselected petitions remaining after the general category quota was reached will be returned along with the filing fee.
It should be noted that there is currently a suspension in place on premium processing for cap-exempt petitions. The suspension was announced in April 2017, and could stay in place for up to six months. The suspension has been introduced to speed up overall processing times, and applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after 3rd April 2017. However, USCIS is still accepting cap-exempt petitions filed to:
- Extend the length of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position
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