Currently the annual cap, as set by Congress, on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B non-immigrant visas are subject to this annual cap. For example, there are up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year. An advanced degree exemption, one who has obtained a U.S. Master’s degree or higher, is available for the first 20,000 petitions filed under this. Once that limit is reached, any petitions filed for applicants with a U.S. master’s degree or higher will count against the regular cap.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) starts accepting H-1B Visa Petitions for the next fiscal year (which starts on October 1) no sooner than April 1 of that year. This means that for the 2017 Fiscal year the earliest to apply is April 1, 2016 for a start date of employment on October 1, 2016. Last year, fiscal year 2016, USCIS received nearly 233,000 H1B filings and they had to use a computer generated random selection process to select the 65,000 eligible petitions.
The expect number of petitions for USCIS to receive for fiscal year 2017 is well over the 100,000 number. The best decision to make is to hire an experienced and knowledge immigration attorney to help you in this process and to guide you to collect the required documentation needed by USCIS for a smooth visa approval. Our immigration lawyers will provide personal attention to your case. At the Florida Immigration Law Counsel we are here to assist and provide information to you. We are committed to guiding you through this process and encourage you to seek legal representation to determine if you are eligible for the H1B visa and the benefits associates with such.