Friday, April 1, 2016


The H-1B cap opened on April 1, 2016.  On April 7, 2016, or shortly thereafter, the USCIS will announce that it has received more than 85,000 H-1B petitions, which is the H-1B cap limit.  MU Law believes that the USCIS will reports that at least 200,000 H-1B petitions will have been filed, and perhaps as many as 250,000.  As a result, the USCIS will hold an H-1B lottery.

The H-1B cap is clearly a drain on the US economy.  Nonetheless, until Congress acts to help the American economy and raises the H-1B cap, the H-1B lottery will result in many otherwise qualified H-1B workers having to consider alternative visa options. Here are some options:
  • Those that have had an H-1B in the past are often not counted against the H-1B cap.  If you have had an H-1B approved in the past, you should contact your attorney, even if you have never entered the US and activated the H-1B.
  • H-1B cap-exempt employers can file for H-1Bs at any time.  An H-B cap-exempt employer is (1) a University; or (2) a non-profit that is related to a University, such as a University Hospital; or (3) A Non-Profit research organization; or (4) A Non-Profit government research organization.
  • Nationals of these countries have alternative visa categories that are similar to the H-1B, but are not subject to the H-1B cap: Canada, Mexico, Australia, Chile, and Singapore.  If you hold a passport from any of these countries you can seek a visa such as a TN-1, E-3, or H-1B1.
  • OPT for F-1 Students.  The F-1 rules liberally allow students to work in the US.  Many students can now work for 24 month, after their graduation from a US college.
  • Green Card filings can often be done quickly.  All categories except India EB-2, EB-3, China EB-2, EB-3 and Philippine EB-3 have very favorable processing times.  Most applicants who qualify for categories other than these should expect their green cards in 12-18 months.
  • The L-1 visa (Multinational Executive, Managers, and Specialized Knowledge workers), the O-1 (Extraordinary Ability) and the E-1/E-2 (Treaty Trader and Treat Investor) offer some options for high level and critical employees. 


  1. hi MU law! as a foreign trained nurse may i ask what are the ielts scores required for visa screen renewal?thank u and more power!

  2. Hi Glimbert. All of the English testing requirements are here. Good luck.

  3. Hi Mu Law, I am System Administrator (IT) with more than 12 year experienced working to US firm here in the Philippines. We have pending immigrant petition under EB3 (dependent)

    My question is. How true that I cannot apply for H1Bsince I have pending petition as dependent to a nurse?

    Tired of waiting. How true another retro this coming June?

    Thanks in advance and God Bless.

  4. @Emer, You can apply for an H-1B even if you have a spouse who has an EB3 pending.

  5. Thanks for the reply MU law. Frustration reason why I am looking for other option but since the VB for May moves more than 3 months might as well stick with my wife case since its already in Manila Embassy.

    God Bless guys


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