• 01Apr
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on The H-1B Cap For Fiscal Year 2012 Is Officially Open!

    USCIS has begun accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2012 cap today, April 1, 2011. Cases will be considered “accepted” on the date USCIS receives the properly filed H-1B petition; not the date that the petition is postmarked.

    The H-1B cap for new H-1B petitions is set by Congress at 65,000 per year and, of that number, 6,800 visas are automatically set aside for qualified foreign nationals from Chile and Singapore based on Free Trade Agreements with the United States. An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available to qualified candidates with a U.S. Master’s Degree.

    With a steadily improving economy in the U.S., demand for new H-1B visa numbers under the FY 2012 cap is expected to be greater than in the last fiscal year.

    If approved, the start date for employees with FY 2012 cap-subject petitions will be on or after October 1, 2011, depending on the specific facts of the case and the actual date of filing.

    H-1B visa extensions of stay and H-1B visa transfers (from one eligible U.S. H-1B employer to another) are not subject to the annual H-1B cap and, therefore, are regularly accepted by USCIS. Likewise, H-1B nonimmigrants who work at (but not necessarily for) eligible research institutions, universities and other qualifying non-profit facilities may also be excluded from the H-1B visa cap and, thus, do not need to wait until April 1 to file such cap-exempt H-1B petitions.

    If you have any questions about the H-1B cap, or would like to discuss appropriate alternatives to the H-1B category, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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