April 1, 2017 marks the first day that USCIS accepts H1B Cap petitions for the fiscal year 2018 that begins on October 1, 2017 and it will be here sooner than you realize.
Since employers can file H1B petitions no earlier than six months in advance of the anticipated start date as per the regulations, April 1 marks the beginning of the race for obtaining an H1B visa before the quota or “cap” is reached.
The H1B Regular and Master’s Cap was filled within the first week of the filing period. USCIS conducted a lottery on April 9, 2016.
The H1B Regular and Master’s Cap was filled within the first week of the filing period. USCIS conducted a lottery on April 13, 2015.
The H1B Regular and Master’s Cap was filled within the first week of the filing period. USCIS conducted a lottery on April 10, 2014.
The above trend reiterates the urgent need to accurately prepare and file your H1B Cap 2018 petitions on April 1st.
To help you increase the chances of H1B petition lottery selection and approvals, here we present a
step-by-step advice for H1B cap filings.
Learn everything you need to know about working in the U.S.
Develop detailed job descriptions; begin gathering supporting documentation.
Prepare all H1B Forms, Support Letter and other required supporting documentation.
File H1B petitions for more than one qualified person to improve your company’s chances of getting selected in the lottery and get approved. It may be worth your investment to file for more individuals considering that you will not be able to hire new H1B foreign nationals until October 1, 2018 if you miss this year H1B Cap.
Mail the petition to USCIS for delivery on April 1, 2017.
Kumar is a software engineer who is working pursuant to OPT for a company that develops software to track goods throughout the supply chain process. His company wants to keep him for the next several years and needs to get him an H1B. His current OPT ends in July, 2017.
The employer needs to get H1B petition filed timely so it can increase the chances of Kumar getting the H1B, and Kumar can take advantage of the Cap Gap rules which would allow him to continue working through the October 1st start date under H1B, despite the OPT expiring.
Martha has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and has been conducting research in a lab at a University in New York City while in H1B status. She has just been offered a research position in a pharmaceutical company that wants to build on her research and expertise. Martha already has an H1B so she doesn’t have to worry about the H1B Cap right?
Not necessarily - Martha was most likely not counted under the H1B cap because she is working for a university and in a position that would normally be cap-exempt. She will have to file H1B Cap petition timely to increase her chances of getting picked in the lottery and to be sure she gets October 1, 2017 start date.