On April 7, 2014, USCIS announced that the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2015 was reached within the five business day filing window running from April 1 to April 7, 2014. This includes both the U.S. advanced degree cap preference limit of 20,000 visas, and the regular cap limit of 65,000 visas.
USCIS will hold a lottery among the petitions received, but has not yet determined when the lottery will be conducted due to the high volume of cases received. A lottery will be held first for the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree cap preference. Those U.S. advanced degree cases not selected under the USCIS advanced degree cap preference will then be included in the 65,000 regular cap lottery.
USCIS has indicated that premium processing cases will commence after the lottery has been conducted, and no later than April 28, 2014. It may be several weeks thereafter before it is determined which regularly processed cases have definitively been selected under the lottery.
Chile Added to Visa Waiver Program
Beginning March 31, 2014, Chilean passport holders are eligible to utilize the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program permits eligible individuals to enter the United States as visitors for business or pleasure for up to 90 days without the need to apply for a B visa. Individuals must first register for advance electronic authorization known as ESTA via the internet, and present a qualifying passport (varies by country) to U.S. Customs and Border Protection when applying for admission. The inclusion of Chile brings the total number of Visa Waiver Program countries to 38.
This client update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys with whom you normally consult.