On Monday, September 18, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release announcing an immediate resumption of Premium Processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap. As summarized previously by HR Legalist, the H-1B status allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in “specialty occupations” where a bachelor’s or higher degree (or equivalent) is normally required. The “cap” refers to both the “regular cap” of 65,000 employees per year, and the 20,000 cap for individuals who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher (the “advanced degree exemption”).  Petitioners subject to the statutory cap, including most for-profit and private companies, must proceed through a computer-generated lottery process each April. Continue Reading