FY 2019 H-1B Visa Lottery Season Approaches

Glen D. Wasserstein, Managing Partner of ILG, specializes in immigration law, focusing on E-2 Investor Visas, L-1 visas, H-1B visas, and federal litigation. With a background in international relations, he founded ILG in 1996 and has addressed human trafficking at the United Nations Convention on Crime.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B cap filings for employment in Fiscal Year 2019, which begins October 1, 2018, on April 2, 2018. As usual, competition for FY 2019 H-1B employment visas is expected to be extremely high. The 65,000 standard cap numbers and 20,000 additional numbers for holders of U.S. advanced degrees are likely to be exhausted quickly. ILG expects FY 2019 to be the most challenging H-1B season in many years, in light of the Trump administrations open hostility towards the visa program.

If USCIS receives more than enough cap petitions to use up the entire quota between Monday, April 2 and Monday, April 9 – the first five business days of the filing season, which is considered a single filing period – it will run computerized lotteries to choose the cases that will be processed to completion.

Employers and foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to begin the H-1B process as soon as possible.