A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

USCIS to Accept H-1B Filings on April 1st; Premium Clock will begin by May 16, 2016

USCIS formally announced yesterday that the agency will begin accepting applications for H-1B cap visas for FY 2017 on April 1st, 2016.  Applications filed before April 1st will be rejected.  By law, the regular H-1B visa cap is 65,000.  There are 20,000 additional H-1B visa numbers for individuals with a U.S. earned graduate degree.  USCIS expects to receive more than 65,000 petitions during the first five business days of this year’s program.  A visa lottery will be conducted to select applications for further processing.  Petitions not selected will be returned. 

For premium processing services, USCIS announced that the agency will begin the 15-day premium processing clock no later than May 16, 2016.  USCIS will issue a decision (not necessarily approval) within 15 days in premium cases or issue a refund of the premium fee. 

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