The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the 65,000, congressionally mandated 2018 Visa H-1B cap has been met, as well as, has the 20,000 United States Advanced Degree Exemption.
The H-1B Program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.
With the cap having been reached, no new applications will be accepted. Any filing fees for cap-subject petitions that are not duplicates will be returned to the applicants.
In making the announcement, the USCIS stated that applications exempt from the mandated cap would continue to be accepted and processed. This applies to workers who are already included with the 2018 cap and have their cap number, as well as applications to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States, applications to change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers, applications to permit current H-1B workers to change employers, and applications to allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
In addition to the announcement about the cap, the USCIS advised that premium processing of H-1B applications has been suspended for up to six months.
In closing, the USCIS encouraged H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Cap Season Webpage.