May 2

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned. Additionally, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition. If you are filing a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, to upgrade your Form I-129 H-1B petition to premium processing, send the completed Form I-907 with the appropriate fee to the center processing your petition.

April 22

USCIS Designates Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an Adopted Decision

USCIS issued a policy memorandum designating Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an AAO adopted decision, which establishes this decision as policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees. Matter of Z-A- clarifies that, when determining whether the beneficiary of an L-1A nonimmigrant petition will primarily manage an essential function, USCIS officers must weigh all relevant factors including, as pertinent in the instant case, evidence of the beneficiary’s role within the wider qualifying international organization.
April 22

Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap Premium Processing to Begin May 12

On May 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season. 

USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time. 

For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. However, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin on May 12, 2016, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium processing fee is received. 

We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY2017 Cap Season Web page.

To learn more, visit our website.

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