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USCIS Announces H-1B Visa Acceptance Date


by in Immigration

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B petitions under the 2012 fiscal year cap on April 1, 2011. Petitions will be treated as accepted on the date that USCIS is served with a properly filed application along with the appropriate filing fee. Petitioner’s should note that the date the application is postmarked is not the day that the petition is considered to be filed. Call now to speak with a New Jersey H-1B lawyer.

Some U.S. companies utilize the H-1B program so that they can hire foreign workers in specialty occupations requiring theoretical or technical expertise. These jobs include those in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming, among others.

The number of H-1B petitions that can be approved are capped at 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions which are properly filed by petitioners possessing U.S. master’s degrees or doctorates are not subject to the cap.

The immigration service keeps track of the number of H-1B petitions that are received publicly posts the day that the numerical limit of the H-1B cap is reached. This date is commonly referred to as the final receipt date. If USCIS receives more petitions than it is allowed to accept, it usually conducts a lottery on the final receipt date. Both petitions that are received after the cap and those are not selected in the final date lottery draw wil be rejected.

Petitioners for first-time H-1B visas are excluded from the yearly cap if the beneficiaries will be working at:

  • Institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities;
  • Nonprofit research organizations; or
  • Governmental research organizations.


Petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who will work only in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands are exempt from the cap until Dec. 31, 2014. Employers may continue to file petitions for these cap-exempt H-1B categories for beneficiaries who will start work during FY 2011 or 2012.

If a petitioner has already been counted before against the cap, they are also excluded from the limit.






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