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Over Half of the New H-1B Petitions Submitted on April 1st Will Be Rejected

Berin Romagnolo April 14, 2014

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that it received about 175,000 new H-1B work visa applications within the first few days of April, which is more than double the number of H-1B’s issued this fiscal year.  Each fiscal year, the USCIS issues 20,000 new H-1B’s to those who have earned at least a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution and 65,000 new H-1B’s to all others.  Since there were more applications than H-1B slots, the USCIS conducted a random, computer-generated lottery on April 10th to select which of the 175,000 applications would be adjudicated.  Those that are not selected will be rejected and returned, along with their filing fee checks.  Although the lottery is complete, it could take several weeks before learning whether an H-1B application has been selected.  Employers will know if they are selected if they receive a Receipt Notice (by email or mail for those filed by Premium Processing, or just a paper notice for those filed through regular processing).  Those Receipt Notices have started to be distributed, and will continue to be distributed likely through early May.  Last year, the USCIS started returning the rejected H1B’s on May 10th.

The USCIS has stated that it will begin processing H-1B applications filed through Premium Processing no later than April 28th.  So, theoretically, employers should know if their Premium Processing H-1B applications were selected in the lottery by April 28th.  For those H-1B applications that are rejected, employers should contact their immigration counsel right away to discuss alternative immigration options available to keep that  foreign worker in the U.S.

If you have any questions about this alert, please contact Berin S. Romagnolo at bromagnolo@pbl.com.

Client Advisory is provided for information purposes onlyand does not constitute legal adviceAccording toMassSJC Rule 3:07, this material may be considered advertising. ©2014 Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLPAllrights reserved.

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