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EIG Dispatch – May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Data Entry for Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Completed
  • U.S. State Department Announces Diversity Lottery Winners
  • House Introduces Bill to Eliminate H-1B Caps and Green Card Limits for STEM Ph.D Holders
  • USCIS Issues New Premium Processing Form

Data Entry for Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Completed

On Monday, May 4, 2015, USCIS announced that it has completed data entry for all selected H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS will now begin returning unselected petitions. The process of returning unselected petitions, and mailing receipt notices for selected petitions, is expected to take several weeks due to the high volume of petitions submitted under this year’s cap.

EIG attorneys have been promptly notifying employees selected in the lottery as notifications have become available. As EIG receives returned petitions that were not selected under the Fiscal Year 2016 cap, our attorneys will work with each individual to explore alternative visa options that may be available.

As a reminder, H-1B cap petitions selected in the lottery can be upgraded to premium processing once the receipt notification has been received.

U.S. State Department Announces Diversity Lottery Winners

Diversity lottery winners for Fiscal Year 2016 were announced on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 immigrant visas each year, drawn from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.

Diversity lottery entrants can check their status by visiting the Entrant Status Check and entering a confirmation number, last name, and year of birth. The Entrant Status Check for DV-2016 will be available until September 30, 2016. In addition, the Entrant Status Check for the Fiscal Year 2015 lottery will remain open until September 30, 2015.

If selected, the Entrant Status Check will provide individuals with additional information on the next steps in applying for permanent residence.

House Introduces Bill to Eliminate H-1B Caps and Green Card Limits for STEM Ph.D Holder

The “Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s from Leaving the Economy Act,” or STAPLE Act, re-introduced in the House on April 30, 2015, would exempt Ph.D graduates in the U.S. from H-1B limits and employment-based immigrant visa caps. First introduced in 2009, the STAPLE Act has bi-partisan support and was subsequently re-introduced in 2011 and 2012.

The Act would apply to Ph.D holders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or “STEM” subjects.

USCIS Issues New Premium Processing Form

Starting June 1, 2015, USCIS will only accept the newly issued premium processing form, Form I-907, and previous editions of the form will be rejected. The updated version of Form I-907 includes Interpreter contact and certification information for EB-1 self-petitioners.