H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2016

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

USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the H-1B 2016 petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will first randomly select H-1B 2016 petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject H-1B 2016 petitions that are not duplicate filings.  

The H-1B program applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. A specialty occupation is one that requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The intent of the H-1B provisions is to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States.

The law establishes certain standards in order to protect similarly employed U.S. workers from being adversely affected by the employment of the nonimmigrant workers, as well as to protect the H-1B nonimmigrant workers. Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment – whichever is greater.

For more information on H-1B 2016 visa cap, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

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