H-1B Cap Reached in First Week of April 2019

201,011 H-1B Petitions Filed

H-1B Cap Reached in First Week of April 2019: 201,011 Petitions Filed

By |2019-04-18T15:56:54+00:00April 18th, 2019|H-1B, Immigration, Nonimmigrant Visas|0 Comments

On April 12, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received 201,011 petitions in the first five business days of April.  The total number of new H-1B petitions accepted every fiscal year is capped at 85,000.   This is the seventh year in a row that demand for H-1Bs has exceeded the limited supply.  Last year, the cap was met after 190,098 petitions were filed in the first week of April.

March Madness:

For immigration lawyers, March is a dreaded month.  Workloads exceed paralegal capacity as the drive to file all H-1B petitions relentlessly moves toward the first week of April.  If an H-1B petition is not filed during that short window of opportunity, an employer may lose out on continuing employment of a valued employee.  Foreign students who have worked hard to excel at U.S. universities need H-1B status to continue U.S. employment after student work authorization expires.  Many dreams of U.S. employment are crushed by the end of April when the golden H-1B Receipt Notice is not received.

In this time of steadily dropping unemployment and a strong economy, the lack of sufficient H-1B visas is hurting U.S. businesses and workers.  The total number of new H-1B visas allotted per year has not been adjusted since 2004.  This makes no sense in the current hot labor market.  The need for additional H-1B visa numbers is reflected in the 116,011 H-1B petitions which were not selected in the H-1B lottery.  Sadly, it is unlikely that Congress and President Trump will take any measures to remedy this broken system any time soon.