What Is A Cap-Exempt H-1B & Who Are H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates

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The regular H-1B visa cap dedicates 65,000 petitions to foreign workers with the required skills and qualifications. An additional 20,000 petitions are allotted to individuals holding advanced degrees at a master’s level or beyond.  Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

An exemption category is available to U.S. employers that fall into one of the three exemption categories including:

A. Higher education institution

B. Non-profit organization associated with a higher education institution

C. Non-profit research or government organization

It’s important to recognize that there are two overarching classifications of H-1B cap exempt petitions. Those are petitions filed on behalf of cap-exempt candidates and those filed by cap-exempt employers.

Who are H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?

If you have previously been granted an H-1B cap exemption then, according to USCIS guidelines, you will not be subject to the cap. If in the past you were under H-1B status and are currently outside of the U.S. you might qualify to have an employer file a cap-exempt petition but you must be able to show that you were in status (in the country) in the past six years and haven’t reached your maximum duration of stay. For H1B Visa Process Visit here

For instance, we once had a client who was employed in the U.S. from January 2003 to November 2006. He approached our office wanting to know if he would be eligible to file a new cap-exempt H-1B petition. Unfortunately, since he wasn’t in status the past six years he was required to file the next lottery season.

H-1B Visa Transfer Premium Processing

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H-1B holders can expedite the transfer process through premium processing. Premium processing will be able to provide a USCIS decision within 15 calendar days for a fee of $1,225.

However, it is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee that your transfer petition will be accepted. It only speeds up the processing time for your petition, nothing more. If you are transferring from a cap-exempt to a cap-subject employer, then you will need to be entered into the H-1B lottery. In this case, premium processing will also not guarantee you a spot in the annual cap or otherwise exempt you from the lottery.

You should also note that premium processing does not change your employment start date. You will be able to begin working for your new employer on October 1st of the year that the petition was filed. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

Important Update (3/3/2017):

The USCIS has recently announced that it will not be offering the premium processing service for all H-1B visa petitions for up to six months. This includes not only new H-1B petitions, but also petitions filed for H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, and H-1B transfers.

Since this suspension will go into effect on April 3, 2017, the same day that the USCIS will begin accepting petitions, it applies to all petitions filed for the 2018 season. Fortunately, the USCIS will offer a refund to petitioners if the following to requirements are met:

A. The premium processing form I-907 was filed before April 3, 2017.

B. The USCIS failed to process the petition within 15 calendar days

The reason for this temporary suspension is so that the USCIS can address some petitions that have been pushed aside due to the increasing number of premium processing petitions being filed.

H-1B Visa Extension

Interested in revalidating or extending your H-1B visa? As a general rule of thumb, a United States visa is typically revalidated if you have the same classification in your passport as that which you’re trying to extend (or revalidate). Say you’re trying to get an H-1B visa but are currently in a different category.

That’s the type of situation that would be best suited for a transfer.If you meet the qualifications to file for an H-1B extension rather than a transfer, you’ll need to follow very specific protocol. Upon entering the country, the port of entry officer will issue an I-94 in your passport. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit here

They will then write the validity period in the country on your I-94, which is basically the date in which your can stay legally in the U.S. until. At that point, you should file for an extension of stay as soon as possible before the duration of status expires.

H-1B Transfer Processing Time

Although it may vary from case to case, processing for an H-1B transfer typically takes 4-8 weeks after the application has been submitted to USCIS. Other factors that affect the H-1B transfer process length is the location of employment and which USCIS processing center is responsible for the application.