United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of April 7, 2017 it has filled the statuary cap of 65,000 visas for 2018. During the filing period which opened on April 3, USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, such as those filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap.
The agency will continue to accept and process petitions to extend the amount of time a current H-1B workers may remain in the U.S., allow current workers to change employers and change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers.
This announcement coincides with the executive order that President Trump will sign reviewing H-1B immigration visas. In an attempt to clamp down on companies, many of the tech industry, that hire foreigners instead of Americans. These reforms would approve visas for highly paid, especially skilled applicants.
This new directive is part of Trump’s push to “buy American, hire American” but will not change the normal working of the H-1B program. The Justice Department has also issued a stern warning against employers who misuse the H-1B process that discriminates against U.S. workers.
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