USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap from April 1, 2016. The H-1B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the imaginary or practical application of highly specialized knowledge, such as engineers, scientists, and computer programmers.
The required cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000.The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. The number of petitions received will be monitored and notified to the public by an agency when the H-1B cap has been met.
To Avoid Delays in Processing:
USCIS is expecting to receive more than 65000 petitions during the first five business days of this program. In order to avoid delays in processing, H-1B petitioners must follow all legal and regulatory requirements.
USCIS has developed detailed information, including an optional checklist, Form M-735, Optional Checklist for Form I-129 H-1B Filings, on how to complete and submit an FY 2017 H-1B petition. The optional checklist for FY 2017 will be available within the next week. Employers should take action as early as possible to initiate any cap-subject H-1B petitions. Cases will be acknowledged on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the appropriate fees.