The H-1B cap season for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 began on April 1, 2019. This means that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently accepting petitions for H-1B visas subject to the cap on the number of these visas that will be granted for the FY 2020. Each fiscal year, USCIS places a limit on the number of new H-1B visas that will be issued for that year, giving citizens of other countries temporary authorization to work in the United States. That limit is known as the H-1B cap, and it is set at 65,000 H-1B visas for applicants with undergraduate degrees, and 20,000 for applicants with advanced degrees.
Since there are often more petitions than there are available visas, during the H-1B cap season, petitions are placed in a "visa lottery"; those applicants who are randomly selected from the lottery are then evaluated based on the merits of their petitions. During this time, eligible students currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university can apply for a change of status from an F-1 student visa to an H-1B. Once the number of H-1B visas issued reaches the cap, no new petitions are approved until the beginning of the cap season for the next fiscal year.
We recently reported on changes to the H-1B visa lottery that would reverse the order in which petitions are selected. Under the new rule, applicants with advanced degrees are selected first, followed by all other applicants.
These new rules may prove beneficial for international MBA students. If you're looking to better understand how to navigate this year's H-1B cap season, here are four essential resources to keep you up-to-date throughout the process:
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In our last post, Part 1, we detailed the findings in Section 1 of the Vault Law 2022 Diversity Survey report pertaining to firm policies, efforts, and initiatives in the DEI space. Today, we will walk through the key findings from Part 2, going over current law firm demographics.