The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced on May 2, 2016 that it has completed data entry of all Fiscal Year 2017 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer generated random lottery 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 those petitions. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.
Employers who want to file for a Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B visa need to be aware that it is anticipated that the quota will fill quickly this year. The earliest effective date for a FY 2017 H-1B is October 1, 2016, which is the first day of the U.S. government’s new fiscal year. Employers may begin filing for FY 2017 H-1B visas as early as April 1, 2016. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available and an additional 20,000 visas for beneficiaries who have obtained a Masters Degree or higher at a U.S. institution of higher education.