The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced that the H1-B Visa regular cap for the fiscal year 2020 has been reached.

According to a press release of the USCIS, the agency has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for the fiscal year 2020.

“USCIS will next determine if we have received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings,” the press release reads.

It further notes that the USCIS will still accept and process cap exempt petitions. The agency will also continue to accept and process petitions filed for the following purposes:

  • To extend the period of stay for a current H-1B employee in the United States.
  • To change the terms of employment for a current H-1B worker in the US.
  • To permit a current H-1B worker to change their workplace/employer.
  • To permit a current H-1B worker to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

It is expected that the USCIS will once again conduct a lottery to select the petitions to meet the 65,000 H-1B quota, as it has been so far. In December last year, the USCIS proposed a merit-based rule that favors most-skilled, highest-paid foreign workers.

According to this proposal, petitioners would have to first electronically register with the USCIS, to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. It also suggested the reversing of the order of the H-1B petition’s selection, by increasing the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a US institution, under the purpose of introducing a selections system based more on merits.

However, the proposal for electronic registering has not come into force yet. It remains to be seen in the following days whether the proposed selection method will be applied for this fiscal year or not.

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