USCIS recently conducted a forum, the H-1B Cap and Filing Tips Stakeholder Engagement, to provide tips and answer questions regarding the upcoming H-1B visa cap. While much of the information was not new, some notable points included:
- Premium Processing will not be immediately available for cap subject H-1Bs. Rather, USCIS will provide notice at some future time to establish what date the premium clock will begin running. This suspension will not impact other case types (only cap cases are "suspended"). USCIS will provide further notice and instructions on this suspension sometime in March via their web page and email alerts. **Updated March 21** Detailed information regarding Premium Processing suspension now available in our post.
- Applicants are advised to include a complete copy of the initial petition, as well as additional copies of any RFE or NOID responses, to facilitate eventual consular visa processing.
- Filing fee checks should be stapled to the bottom right corner of the top page.
- Black ink signatures are preferable. All signatures must comply with the new signature memo, effective March 17th.
- Applications filed at the wrong Service Center will not retain their filing date and will be returned. Caution should be exercised when identifying the Petitioner's "primary office" or headquarters which determines the proper filing address. The Agency acknowledged that there is no separate field to denote a mailing address aside from the HQ address and realizes this causes lost notices when the HQ address is a large corporation. It is seeking a resolution.
- Monday, April 2nd, is not a Federal holiday and it will be the earliest date on which a cap-subject case may be received.
- There are cases still pending from FY2018 and the Agency is aiming to complete all cases before FY2019 opens.
The USCIS FY2019 page is up! Sign up for alerts and stay informed here.