CFGI Quoted – “H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2018”

4/10/2017
SHRM


“The congressionally mandated H-1B visa cap for fiscal year (FY) 2018…[was] met five days after the application window opened April 3, announced U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The cap on petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption was also reached.

“USCIS announced April 7 that it received more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and more than 20,000 H-1B petitions for individuals holding a U.S. master's degree or higher. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

“…‘Of course, it is not surprising that the H-1B cap has been met for fiscal year 2018,’ said Beth Carlson, an immigration attorney and counsel in the Minneapolis office of law firm Faegre Baker Daniels. ‘This was expected based on the last several years, the pent-up demand that remains for H-1B work visas, and the concerns and uncertainty that employers have on what the H-1B program may look like for fiscal year 2019.’

“USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select petitions to meet the caps. The date of the lottery is not yet known.

“…USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. However, the agency reminded employers that premium processing has been suspended for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions.

“…Advocates for high-skilled foreign workers point to the announcement to show that demand for high-skilled talent dramatically outpaces supply.

“‘The announcement reflects continued strong employer demand for access to talent and serves as an important reminder of the need to reform the outmoded H-1B system,’ said Rebecca Peters, director of government affairs at the Council for Global Immigration, a nonprofit trade association committed to advancing high-skilled employment-based immigration. ‘The current process, which sets arbitrary caps and selects winners and losers by chance, is failing American employers and employees.’

“Only around 30 percent of H-1B applicants ‘win’ the H-1B lottery, ‘keeping thousands of the best and brightest high-skilled immigrants from around the world out of our U.S. workforce,’ said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, an advocacy organization led by the tech community to promote immigration reform.”

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