CIS Will Likely Need Until The End of May to Sort Out Accepted and Rejected H-1B Cap Cases

In recent alerts, we have informed clients that the H-1B Caps had been reached and the lottery had been held, provided a FAQ in regards to the H-1B Cap, and provided an alert describing the H-1B caps and provided an overview of eligibility for the status.

At a recent conference, an official at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) informed the audience that CIS would first process data entry for the H-1B cap cases filed requesting premium processing, and that they expected data entry for those cases would be completed by April 15. Note that this is the only preferential treatment that CIS is providing to premium processed cases. CIS must process those cases first as they are required to make an initial determination on all premium processed cases by May 1st. Premium processed cases did not receive any preferential treatment in the lotteries.

Once data entry is complete on the premium processing cases, CIS will begin data entry for all other cap-subject H-1B cases. CIS anticipates that data entry for the non-premium processed cases will continue until sometime in May, and rejection notices for petitions not selected in the lottery will be sent out after that.

Unfortunately this information confirms our prediction in the H-1B Cap FAQ that both the employers and sponsored employees will likely need to wait another month or more before they will definitively know whether the case was accepted for processing or not.

We again encourage anyone who is in Human Resources or Recruiting who are interested in learning more about the other work authorized visa categories to attend our event on May 9th, “Alternatives to H-1B Visas.”

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