USCIS released a press note indicating that they will accept H1B petitions for 2018 fiscal year starting from April 3rd, 2017. Last year, news release was done on March 16th, this year it is a day earlier. Below is a summary of the USCIS Press release
Summary of USCIS Press Release for H1B 2018 Season :
- Accepting Petitions for FY 2018 : USCIS will accept H1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2018 starting from April 3rd, 2017. Usually it used to be April 1st, this year as April 1st and 2nd are weekends, they start accepting from April 3rd. Any H1B petitions filed before that date for FY 2018 cap quota will be rejected.
- H1B Cap Quota Limits : Congress has set cap as below. No different from previous years.
- Regular Quota : 65,000
- Masters Quota : 20,000 ( US Masters degree or higher only )
- Accepted Limit : USCIS will monitor the number of H1B petitions filed and notify the public when the H1B Cap is met. No info on lottery.
- Premium Processing for H1B 2018 Quota : Premium processing for H1B petitions filed for fiscal year 2018 quota is temporarily suspended for up to 6 months. It was announced earlier on March 4 press release.
- Rejection of H1B Petitions : Any H1B petition filed for FY 2018 quota, which requests premium processing using form I-907, will be rejected. If the employer submits one combine check for both H1B application and premium processing, both forms will be rejected.
- H1B Filing Fee : The H1B filing application fee for I-129 went up in December 2016 and it is $460 USD. Check Complete H1B Filing Fee, Who Pays for what
- Checklist for H1B Filing : USCIS has released an Optional Checklist for H1B filing. It is similar to previous years and provides guidance on how to file. Usually attorneys use it and submitted as needed with application package.
Summary – What’s the key missing piece of information ?
Well, most of the details in press release are like pretty much like previous years, but the big difference this year is that they do not really talk about H1B Lottery or Random Selection . They just say that USCIS will monitor and notify once the cap quota is met ( read what is H1B Cap Quota ) . They do not clarify on the H1B lottery. The lottery info was very explicitly written in previous years press releases of FY 2017 and FY 2016 . We do not know what their intention is…maybe they are not anticipating more petitions ? As per our H1B 2018 Predictions – Lottery is expected…We just have to wait and see. They do not explicitly specify that USCIS will accept petitions for first 5 days or not… In general, the norm is that USCIS accepts petitions for first 5 business days and take all the petitions from 5 business days and conduct random selection aka H1B Lottery to select the petitions. Hopefully they do the same this year too…It is not explicitly mentioned in this year press release.
What are your thoughts?
Reference : USCIS Press Release H1B 2018 Official