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The USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions towards the FY 2017 Cap on April 1, 2016. The lead time required to plan and prepare new cases in time for the filing deadline makes it imperative that employers begin the planning process as soon as possible.

In light of new regulations governing H-1B filings, it is also critical that employers consult with their legal counsel in advance to plan a process by which filings are fully compliant to regulatory mandates while at the same time supportive of the business goals of companies.

With the harsh regulatory spotlight on H-1B Visas resulting from Congressional actions and Presidential Campaign rhetoric, it is unclear what the number of filings will be this year. Even then, it is expected that the quota will be reached, like last year, within the first five days and a lottery will be implemented.

As per the law, USCIS is mandated to accept cases until April 7th, 2016. For FY 2016, the USCIS received approximately 233,000 petitions.

65,000 regular H-1B visas for skilled workers and 20,000 H-1B visas for Master’s degree holders from a U.S. university will be available under the FY 2017 cap. Those picked in the lottery who have their petitions and visa applications approved will be eligible to start work on October 1, 2016.

Please feel free to contact our firm with any questions or issues that you may have. You may reach us via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at info@USILaw.com. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your organization during this filing season.

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