H-1B United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Visas

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly... more +
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent." Examples of specialty occupations include chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and architecture, to name a few. Individuals may not apply for H-1B visas; they are distributed only through the approval of employer petitions. In order to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition resulting from the program, the rules require that employers pay nonimmigrant workers equivalent wages to similarly-situated U.S. workers or the industry's prevailing wage. H-1B visas are subject to a yearly cap which is currently set at 85,000.   less -
News & Analysis as of

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Lottery Selection Process and Data Entry for Fiscal Year 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in a computer-generated random lottery. Mintz Levin has...more

Alert: Premium Processing for FY 2017 H-1B Cap Petitions to Begin May 12

On May 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S....more

H-1B Cap Filings Break Record

USCIS announced that it completed the lottery for the new fiscal year’s H-1B cap cases. The agency also released the final (approximate) count of cap-eligible H-1B cases filed for FY2017; a new record of 236,000 cases were...more

Breaking News: H-1B Visa Cap Reached for 2017 Fiscal Year

On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2017 has been reached. USCIS had only started accepting H-1B petitions for the...more

Layoffs of Foreign Workers Lead to Corporate Immigration Concerns

While there is much focus in the media about the termination of U.S. employees and their replacement with workers abroad, there is little discussion about the layoff of foreign employees, currently living in the country....more

USCIS Announces FY 2017 H-1B Visa Cap Reached

On April 7, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory quota of 65,000 standard H-1B petitions and the cap exemption of...more

H-1B Cap Reached; USCIS to Conduct Random Lottery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced April 7, 2016, that between April 1, 2016, and April 7, 2016, it received more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and more than 20,000 H-1B petitions for...more

USCIS Reaches FY 2017 H-1B Cap

As of April 7, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the H-1B quota or “cap” limitation for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has not yet confirmed the total number of petitions received...more

FY 2017 H-1B Cap Reached

On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under...more

H-1B Cap Reached — Lottery Initiated and Premium Processing Delayed

On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached the statutory cap of H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2017. As predicted, the USCIS received a heavy demand for the...more

H-1B Program On Trial During Senate Hearing

Prospects for passage of any H-1B reform legislation remain low in this politically charged election year....more

DHS Tests Known Employer Program for Certain Immigration Petitions

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program intended to streamline the employment-based immigration process in certain visa categories. The program will modify the process U.S....more

Severe Delays at USCIS Create Need for Nimble Approach by Employers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) service centers are experiencing severe delays in processing immigration cases due to an overwhelming backlog. USCIS has not publicly identified the cause of the delays or...more

H-1B Quota for October 1: Prepare Labor Condition Applications by March 16

The U.S. government’s H-1B temporary professional worker program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals in “specialty occupation” positions that require a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Under current law, the...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Visa Bulletin Controversy Continues (Part 5/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative...more

It’s Time to Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017

It’s never too early to begin preparing for H-1B cap filings! This alert is a reminder of the April 1, 2016 deadline for the filing of H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2017. Petitions for the new fiscal year, which will be...more

Planning Ahead: H-1Bs for FY2017

As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is almost here! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017 on Friday, April 1, 2016. As such,...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

Public Law 111-230 H-1B, L-1 Additional Fees Expire

H-1B and L-1 petitions filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015, should not include the additional fee that was previously required by Section 402 of Public Law 111-230, as amended by Public Law 111-347, for certain H-1B and L-1...more

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016

The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date...more

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers

Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were...more

USCIS Issues New Procedures for Determining Time for Filing Green Card Application

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promulgated new procedures for determining the visa availability date for individuals waiting to file employment- and family-based applications for...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: Concurrent H-1B Employment

In 2014, Massachusetts created the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program (GEIR), a program meant to capitalize on the opportunities provided by concurrent H-1B employment. Under this program, universities partnered with...more

Department of State Releases October 2015 Visa Bulletin

A new category of “filing” cutoff dates has been introduced to allow for earlier filing of adjustment of status applications and immigrant visa applications. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2015...more

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