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FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season Starts April 1, 2019: Things You Should Do and Know

By February 7, 2019May 19th, 2021H-1B and E-3 Visa, Immigration
Image courtesy of Nguyen Hung Vu on Flickr (labeled for reuse)

H-1B cap season for fiscal year 2020 will begin on April 1, 2019. Employers should start preparing for cap petitions now as applications not received within the first five business days of April could miss out access due to the limited number of H-1Bs available for new employment. Missing the FY 2020 quota means that an employer would not be able to file petitions for cap-subject H-1B employment until early 2020 for start dates in FY 2021, which begins October 1, 2020. Last year, USCIS received 190,098 applications, similar to prior years but far exceeding the 85,000 quota. In preparation for the cap season, here are some handy links to know:

  • To learn more about the H-1B visa and whether or not you qualify, please click here.
  • Interested in working in the United States but worried about the H-1B lottery? Here are some other options you can consider.
  • So far, USCIS has not announced whether premium processing will be available for the cap cases. Premium processing costs $1410 and guarantees that you will receive a response to your application within 15 business days. USCIS suspended premium processing last year and it remained suspended until January this year.
  • Changes are coming to the H-1B application process, but the lottery registration system will not be implemented until next year. Please click here to learn more about the changes in the horizon.
  • The State Department will remove two interview locations, the Chengdu and Shenyang consulates, for H and L visa applicants interviewing in Mainland China on March 1, 2019. Applicants interviewing in China should expect longer wait times for interview appointments as the three remaining locations, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, absorb the workload of the previous two.
  • Although no draft rule has been officially published or implemented, DHS is still working towards eliminating the H-4 visa for spouses of H-1B holders which allows them to work in the U.S. As of right now, H-4 holders can continue to renewal their work permits.

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