[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=4][COLOR="#0000FF"][B]H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Cap Season[/B] [/COLOR]

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[B]The H-1B Program[/B]

U.S. businesses use the H-1B visa program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, including, but not limited to: scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. For more information about the H-1B program, visit our H-1B Specialty Occupations Web page.

[B]How USCIS Determines If an H-1B Petition Is Subject to the FY 2015 Cap[/B]

We use the information provided in Part C of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (pages 17-19 of Form I-129 with a revision date of November 23, 2010, or later). This information helps us determine whether a petition is subject to the regular cap of 65,000 H-1B visas. An advanced degree exemption is provided for the first 20,000 petitions filed for a beneficiary who has obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Once that limit is reached, any petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher will count against the regular cap, unless exempt for other reasons.
FY 2015 H-1B Cap Count

[B]Cap Eligible Petitions[/B]

This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied.

[B]Cap Amounts[/B]

The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrant visas are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S. Chile and U.S. Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), Public Law 110-229, includes a provision exempting H-1B workers performing labor or services in the CNMI and Guam from the H-1B numerical limitation. H-1B workers in Guam and the CNMI are exempt from the statutory numerical limitation for H-1B classification provided that the petition is filed before December 31, 2014. Employers cannot file an extension request for an employee more than six months in advance of the intended employment start date. As a reminder, USCIS will reject extensions filed more than six months in advance.

[B]When to File an FY 2015 H-1B Cap-Subject Petition[/B]

We will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. You may file an H-1B petition no more than six months in advance of the employment start date requested for the beneficiary.
[B]How to Ensure You Properly File Your H-1B Cap-Subject Petition[/B]
Please follow these steps:
1. Complete all sections of the Form I-129 petition, including the H Classification Supplement (pages 11 and 12 of the form) and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (pages 17-19). Make sure the Form I-129 has a revision date of November 23, 2010, or later. (You can find current versions of forms at www.uscis.gov/forms.)
2. Make sure each form has an original signature, preferably in black ink.
3. Include a signed check or money order with the correct fee amount.
4. Submit all required documentation and evidence with the petition at the time of filing to ensure timely processing.
5. Be sure to file the petition to the correct USCIS service center. See the section below on [B]Where to Mail Your H-1B Cap-Subject Petition.[/B]
Note: It is your responsibility to ensure that Form I-129 is completed accurately and submitted properly.

[B]Additional Documents Required With Your Petition[/B]

[B]Labor Condition Application (LCA)[/B]
You must submit a certified Department of Labor LCA (Form ETA 9035) at the time you file your petition. A copy of the LCA is acceptable.
Note: USCIS encourages petitioners to keep Department of Labor LCA processing times in mind when preparing the H-1B petition and plan accordingly. If the LCA is certified for multiple workers, you must provide the name and USCIS case receipt number of any foreign worker who has previously used the LCA.
Petitioners should be sure to sign the LCA before submitting it with the petition to USCIS.
Please see the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification website for more information on the LCA process.

[B]Evidence of Beneficiary’s Educational Background [/B]

You must submit evidence of the beneficiary’s education credentials at the time of filing. If all of the requirements for a degree have been met, but the degree has not yet been awarded, you may submit the following alternate evidence:
• A copy of the beneficiary’s final transcript; or
• A letter from the registrar confirming that all of the degree requirements have been met. If the educational institution does not have a registrar, then such a letter must be signed by the person in charge of educational records where the degree will be awarded.
If you indicate that the beneficiary is qualified based on a combination of education and experience, please provide substantiating evidence at the time of filing.

[B]A Copy of the H-1B Petition[/B]

If the beneficiary will be applying for a nonimmigrant visa abroad, you must submit a copy of your H-1B petition and any subsequent response to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny with your filing. USCIS will not make a copy if you do not provide one.
You may also submit a copy of the petition and any subsequent response to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny even if the beneficiary is requesting a change of status to H-1B or an extension of stay. You may choose to do this in case the beneficiary later decides to seek a visa abroad or the H-1B petition is approved but the change of status or extension of stay request is denied.
You can check the Department of State website to make sure the consulate indicated on Form I-129 is able to process the beneficiary’s nonimmigrant visa application. You can also check for any instructions specific to that consulate.

[B]Multiple or Duplicative Filings[/B]

To ensure fair and orderly distribution of available H-1Bs, USCIS will deny or revoke multiple or duplicative petitions filed by an employer for the same H-1B worker and will not refund the filing fees. On March 19, 2008, USCIS announced an interim final rule on H-1Bs to prohibit employers from filing multiple or duplicative H-1B petitions for the same employee.

[B]Where to Mail Your H-1B Petition[/B]

You must file your petition with the correct service center depending on the H-1B beneficiary’s work location(s) as specified in the petition. We have specific mailing addresses for cases that are subject to the H-1B cap. To determine which jurisdiction you are in, see our Web page Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.
Note: We have a separate mailing address for certain types of educational or nonprofit organizations that file H-1B petitions for beneficiaries who are exempt from the cap.
Please read the filing instructions very carefully. If you file your petition incorrectly, we will reject it. Rejected petitions will not retain a filing date and will not be counted toward the H-1B cap.

[B]Required Fees[/B]

There are different fees depending on the type of H-1B petition you are submitting. Please refer to H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (pages 17-19 of Form I-129) for detailed instructions on fees.
The following fees may be required with a petition subject to the cap:
Base filing fee:
• $325
[B]American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee:[/B]
(see H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement, Part B):
• $750 for employers with 1 to 25 full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt
• $1,500 for employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt
[B]Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee:[/B]
• $500 to be submitted with a request for initial H-1B status or with a request for a beneficiary already in H-1B status to change employers. (This fee does not apply to Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions.)
[B]Public Law 111-230:[/B]
• $2,000 to be submitted by a petitioner that employs 50 or more employees in the United States, if more than half of those employees are in H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status.
• must be submitted with a request for initial H-1B status or a request for a beneficiary already in H-1B status to change employers
[B]Premium Processing Fee:[/B]
• $1,225 for employers seeking Premium Processing Service

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