Contributed by Kim Tremblay, Associate Attorney
As expected, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it had reached the 65,000 visa cap on H-1B petitions for the upcoming fiscal year. The 20,000 visa cap for the advanced degree exemption for applicants with a United States Master’s degree or higher was also reached.
USCIS will finish the intake of the petitions it has received thus far and will then conduct a lottery to determine which petitions the agency will accept and review. The petitions that are accepted will still need to satisfy the legal requirements for H-1B petitions. USCIS will first conduct the lottery for the advanced degree exemption petitions and then include the petitions that were not selected in the general lottery for the 65,000 regular H-1B petitions.
USCIS will return petitions that the agency does not select in the lottery, along with their filing fees. No date has been set for the lottery. Petitions that are cap-exempt can still be filed.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!