After suspending premium (15-day) processing for all H-1Bs in March 2017, on July 24, 2017, USCIS brought it back for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. On September 18, 2017, USCIS has resumed premium processing service for all cap-subject H-1B petitions (FY 2018 cap – cases filed in April 2017). Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions, such as extensions of stay and H-1B portability (aka transfer) petitions.
Back on April 27, 2011, shortly after the FY 2012 H-1B Cap opened, I posted that H-1B visa usage statistics going back to 2007 demonstrated that U.S. employers were not hiring as much as some reports would like us to believe.
Looking at the numbers going back to 2007, it was clear that H-1B usage was WAY down, and we estimated – based on usage for the first two weeks – H visas would be available until March 2012.
While this year’s demand was nowhere near the level in 2007 or 2008 – when the demand for H-1Bs was more than twice the supply and getting an H-1B meant that had win a lottery – this year we ran out of H-1Bs three months earlier than last year.
In my world, increased H-1B visa usage is the best indicator of an economy moving in the right direction.
After the break, please find a comparative analysis of H-1B visa usage from FY2008 to FY2011.
2010 H-1B Season [FY2011]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 13,500
Cap Hit: January 27, 2011 [ten months later]
2009 H-1B Season [FY2010]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 42,000
Cap Hit: December 21, 2009 [nine months later]
2008 H-1B Season [FY2009]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 140,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2008
2007 H-1B Season [FY2008]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 123,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2007
In August 2011, we posted a link and some background related to the current administration’s efforts to attract and retain high-skill entrepreneurs. Specifically, a USCIS press release dated 8/2/2011 confirmed an intention to use current immigration law [including H-1B visas and National Interest Waivers] to fuel the nation’s economy and stimulate investment, by attracting foreign entrepreneurial talent who can create jobs, form start-up companies, and invest in areas of high unemployment. Here is the link to that post:
We made clear that despite his ownership interest, the Beneficiary would be an “employee” of the U.S. company and that he was exactly the type of individual targeted by USCIS in their recent announcement.
We wish our clients the best of luck and thank USCIS for a job well done! We are currently working on a number of exciting “start-up” cases, where we intend to rely on USCIS’ recent guidance, including H-1Bs and EB-2 I-140 National Interest Waivers (green card) petitions, and hope today’s approval is a sign that USCIS will continue to help stimulate our economy through existing visa categories.