The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Service Center Operations Directorate (USCIS SCOPS) confirmed that it is not anticipating any procedural changes for the Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B cap season. USCIS intends to follow the same procedures that were used for the FY2018 season, which will not include a pre-registration system. In addition, USCIS does not anticipate that premium processing will be suspended for non-cap H-1B petitions, although there may be a short suspension of premium processing for cap-subject petitions,
Currently, the H-1B visa cap stands at 85,000 visas for college graduates, 20,000 of which are allocated solely to applicants with master’s degrees. The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa suitable for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and a job offer from a sponsoring employer in a specialty occupation that is related to their field of study. A specialty occupation is a job that is complex and specialized enough that a bachelor’s degree or higher is generally required. H-1B visa holders can be employed in the United States for up to six years, or sometimes longer if they are at a certain stage of the green card process. The number of applications each year significantly exceeds the number of available visas. In 2017, applications exceeded the allowance in just four days and USCIS logged 199,000 applications in total. To learn more about the H-1B visa and your eligibility, please click here.
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