H-1B Visa Caps

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

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

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

DHS Sends New STEM OPT Rule to OMB For Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent its proposed regulation on the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is...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

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

Immigration Laws Impacting the Workplace

The H-1B visa program has been one of the most successful programs in U.S. immigration history, allowing for U.S. entities to hire and place highly skilled workers, holding at least a bachelors’ degree or the equivalent, into...more

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2015

Fiscal year 2016 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2015. However, as October 1, 2015 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: The little known but useful B-1 in lieu of H-1B

Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? In a series of posts we will explore alternatives to the H-1B. The B-1 visa category traditionally permits foreign individuals...more

Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for...more

District Court Vacates F-1 STEM OPT Rule and Provides DHS With Six Months to Cure Defect

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 rule allowing F-1 students in the U.S. with college-level degrees in...more

USCIS Completes Return of H-1B Petitions Not Selected in the Lottery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 14, 2015, that it completed processing the return of fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in its “computer-generated random...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Update on Visa Delays and H-1B News

Visa Delays World Wide - The Department of State (DOS) has announced that due to a central computer hardware problem, visa issuance has temporarily stopped. Applicants interviewed after June 9 will experience...more

Q&A With Kirton McConkie's Jacob Muklewicz

Jacob T. Muklewicz is a Shareholder in Kirton McConkie PC's Salt Lake City office. Muklewicz's practice focuses on business and investor immigration. He helps employers and investors obtain the proper visas for their...more

The TN visa category: An oasis in the desert of dried up international talent pools

During the first week of April, when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepted new H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, USCIS received approximately 233,000 petitions for only 85,000 available H-1B visas...more

Dealing with Rejection: Options for Applicants Not Selected in the FY2016 H-1B Lottery

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s announcement last month that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2016 beginning October 1, 2015—a record total, and a 35% increase over last...more

Didn’t Make the H-1B Cut? Here are Some Alternatives

As previously reported, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap, including the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption for...more

FY 2016 H-1B Cap Petition Not Selected: What Are the Options?

Most “new” H-1B petitions must be counted against an annual H-1B cap. This limit, or “cap,” administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is currently set at 65,000 plus an additional 20,000 reserved...more

Immigration Corner: H-1B Cap FY2016 and Aftermath, "Doing Business" for Multinational Managers, myE-Verify Available Nationwide

If you filed an H-1B petition that did not get accepted for processing under the FY2016 Cap, you are not alone. This year a record number of 233,000 petitions were filed in a mad scramble for the annual supply of 85,000 new...more

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

On May 4, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed its data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random lottery process....more

H-1B petitions selected, petitioner notification timing uncertain

On May 4, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions and has selected petitions in its computer-generated random process. USCIS...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2015

Ninth Circuit Reviews Enforceability of Waiver of Right to Reemployment - Does California Business and Professions Code § 16600 prohibit employees from waiving their right to reemployment with prior employers? The...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - April 2015

In This Issue: - Employment Law Update After Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. - Excerpt from Employment Law Update After Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.: A pregnant employee walks into your...more

FY 2016 H-1B Cap Lottery Selection Completed, Premium Processing Timeline Begins April 27, 2015

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on April 27, 2015, it will begin reviewing cases filed with a request for premium processing. USCIS previously confirmed completion of...more

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