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2015 Update for US H-1B cut-off and Lottery Process

United States, 8th May: Sufficient number of US H-1B visa petitions have been received by the US immigration department for the FY 2016.

Hence, the USCIS(US Citizenship and Immigration Services) has clarified that any US H-1B visa petitions received after 7th April this year shall not be accepted.

US H-1B Visa Updates 20152015 updates for US H-1B Petition cut off and lottery—As per the latest information by the USCIS, a total of 223,000 US H-1B visa petitions have been received during the filing period. This includes the figures for advanced degree exemption petitions too. And this figure shows an increase of more than 60,000 over the last year.

<blockquote> Here is the latest 2015 update for US H-1B Visa petitions and lottery for all those concerned. </blockquote>

Lottery system for selection of US H-1B visa petitions—So, it is quite clear now that the USCIS is going to make use of a random selection process through computer for selection of sufficient number of US H-1B visa petitions to fill the annual cap of 65,000 for general category as well as 20,000 under advanced degree exemption limit.

Hence, a point worth notable in this regard is that the USCIS will be rejecting and returning all those US H-1B Visa cap-subject petitions that are not selected randomly. And the filing fees shall also get returned by the USCIS, it clarified.

Meanwhile, it is not yet known as to when exactly will the USCIS start issuing the receipt notices for US H-1B visa petitions having accepted under lottery process. It had hinted that the processing of petitions shall begin not later than 27th April this year.

Pending US H-1B Visa petitions can get upgraded to premium processing after the issue of a receipt notice.

Alternatives for employers for those not selected under Lottery—

  • US H-1B visa—New US H-1B visa petitions have annual intake limits. But, any foreign professional having already been granted a US H-1B visa status and having counted against the quota is exempt(generally) irrespective of changing employers or from any other visa status.
  • US F1 Visa—Work authorization for up to one year is available for foreigners studying in the US after completion of their study. Also, they can seek permission for working during their study. An extension of work authorization is available for additional 17 months for those studying in STEM(Science, Technology, engineering and math) working with employers enrolled in eVerify program.
  • US J1 visa—Allows foreigners to take part in on-the-job training program for international trainees.
  • US O1 Visa—It is another option for those having extraordinary ability.
  • E-3 Visa—It enables Australia professionals to come and work in the US.
  • L1A, L1B visas—Are intra-company transfer visa authorizing transfers of experienced workers between different offices of multinational firms.

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