Many of you have been waiting for the official USICIS news update on this year’s H1B Visa season start date and guidance on filing applications for some time… Last year for FY 2014, USCIS press release was one on March 16th, this year it is about 10 days late…Anyways, Your wait is over ! USCIS did an official news release earlier today on their website. This article will present the summary of the press release.
Summary of USCIS H1B Visa 2015 News Release :
- USCIS will accept H1B Visa petitions for the fiscal year 2015 starting from April 1st, 2014
- H1B Petitions will be considered by USCIS as accepted only when
- They receive the application properly filed with correct fee and
- They physically receive the petition, NOT post mark date ( for lottery )
- The H1B Visa cap for this fiscal year did not change (The immigration reform speculations for H1B cap increase is still a dream) . They are :
- 65,000 visas for regular quota
- 20,000 visas for advanced degree quota( with US Masters only )
- USCIS expects the cap will be filled by April 7th and they will receive enough petitions for both quota. There will be random selection ( H1B Lottery), if more petitions are received than the stipulated cap.
- H1B Lottery/ Random Selection : If there were to be random selection aka lottery
- The non-duplicate petitions that are not selected will be rejected and returned with filling fee
- The applications received by USCIS in the first 5 days will be considered for H1B Lottery. Check out How USCIS H1B Visa Lottery Works
- H1B Visa 2015 Premium Process Guidelines
- USCIS anticipates many premium processing applications during this season.
- They will consider Premium processing start date for any application no later than April 28th ( means, the 15 day processing clock will start no later than April 28th , it could be processed early as well )
- The premium processing for non-cap subject petitions that do not fall under FY 2015 cap will be normal 15 days.
- USCIS expect that all the H1B Petitions to be filed as per requirements and guidelines to avoid delays and RFEs. They have given a checklist with application for benefit of everyone
This year’s press release by USCIS is pretty similar to last year’s. Only difference is the premium processing start date, it was April 15th. I believe, USCIS with their past experience has adjusted the date to make sure employers have the right expectations for premium processing decision timing…
Do you think USCIS should have increase the H1B cap this year ?
What are your thoughts ? Do you think Immigration reform will pass this year ?
Reference : USCIS Official press release