H-1B Visa Cap Lottery Season Approaches
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B work visa cap filings for employment in Fiscal Year 2019 (which begins October 1, 2018) on Monday, April 2, 2018. As usual, competition for FY 2019 H-1B employment visas is expected to be extremely high. The 65,000 standard cap numbers and 20,000 additional numbers for holders of U.S. advanced degrees are nearly certain to be exhausted quickly. ILG expects FY 2019 to be the most challenging H-1B season in many years, in light of a tight labor market and the Trump administration's open hostility towards the visa program. See Trump's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order here.
H-1B filings have become much more challenging in the past 8 months. Entry level H-1B filings in particular have become increasingly scrutinized since the change in administration. Requests for evidence (RFEs) have increased greatly. Additional documentation must be provided this season. Even extensions of H-1Bs have become problematic. See Trump's Rescission of Guidance Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations Executive Order here.
If USCIS receives more than enough cap petitions to use up the entire quota between Monday, April 2 and Monday, April 9 – the first five business days of the filing season, it will run computerized lotteries to choose the cases that will be processed to completion.
In anticipation of new challenges, employers and foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to begin the H-1B process as soon as possible.
Please contact us for an evaluation of your H-B visa.
For more detailed information on H-1B work visas, please click here.