USCIS Suggests Certain H-1B Cap Exempt Petitions Should be Sent to CSC

USCIS announced last week that it is introducing a new initiative to streamline H-1B petition adjudications. On February 1, 2008, USCIS introduced a special group at their California Service Center dedicated solely to processing H-1B cap exempt petitions. These petitions include those filed by institutions of higher education, nonprofit associations that are affiliated with institutions of higher education and nonprofit or governmental research organizations.

Note that the cap-exempt petitions that will be adjudicated by this special group do not include H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals seeking exemption based on their level of education (having a U.S. master’s degree or higher), those requesting an extension of stay, those wishing to change employers or those requesting an amendment to their petitions. These petitions should continue to be sent to originally stated addresses. However, petitioners requesting exemption based on the three criteria stated above (institutions of higher education, nonprofit associations affiliated with institutions of higher education and nonprofit or governmental research organizations) should, according to USCIS, start using a new mailing address when submitting their H-1B cap exempt petitions:

Direct Mail:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
California Service Center
ATTN: CAP EXEMPT H-1B Processing Unit
P.O. BOX 30040
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-3004

Private Couriers:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
California Service Center
ATTN: CAP EXEMPT H-1B Processing Unit
24000 Avila Road, Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Note that if a cap-exempt petition is received at a different service center, that petition will be forwarded to the California Service Center for processing and adjudication. This procedure will remain in place until USCIS posts specific filing instructions requiring the submission of these petitions to the California Service Center.

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