Information about H1B Visa Filing Season 2016

USCIS will begin accepting H1B visa applications on April 1, 2015 for an employment start date of October 1, 2015, marking the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year. It is recommended to send applications on March 31 for receipt by USCIS on April 1. USCIS will not accept any petitions received before April 1.

USCIS accepts a limit of 65,000 H-1B visa petitions each year. An additional 20,000 visas are reserved for individuals who have earned a masters degree or higher degree of education. USCIS uses a computerized lottery to choose cases for processing if more than the limit of petitions that meet the standard and advanced degree quota are received during the first five business days of the filing season. The lottery system first selects enough cases to fill the cap exemption of 20,000 advanced-degree petitions. The remaining cases are sorted through the second lottery to meet the standard quota of 65,000.

USCIS received 170,000 applications last year, and that number is expected to increase this filing season. Last year, USCIS closed the cap within the first five working days as it had received sufficient number of H-1B petitions.

The H1B filing statistics for the past years are presented below:

Year:Date H1B Cap Reached
H1B 2003 (FY 2004 cap)October 1, 2003
H1B 2004 (FY 2005 cap)October 1, 2004
H1B 2005 (FY 2006 cap)August 10, 2005
H1B 2006 (FY 2007 cap)May 26, 2006
H1B 2007 (FY 2008 cap)April 3, 2007
H1B 2008 (FY 2009 cap)April 7, 2008
H1B 2009 (FY 2010 cap)December 21, 2009
H1B 2010 (FY 2011 cap)January 26, 2011
H1B 2011 (FY 2012 cap)November 22, 2011
H1B 2012 (FY 2013 cap)June 11, 2012
H1B 2013 (FY 2014 cap)April 5 2013
H1B 2014 (FY 2015 cap)April 7 2014

If you are an employer or petitioner, please ensure that your LCA and H1B visa application is filed before March 31, 2015. An additional 3 days may be needed for new companies not registered with the US Department of Labor. Please consult your lawyer for additional details.

To get more information of H1B Visa, visit our H1B Visa Section