H-1B Visa Availability After April 2017

USCIS has recently announced that it has completed the random selection process for cap-subject H-1B Petitions filed during the first five days of April. The Service will begin returning cases that were not selected to Petitioners in the coming days along with all filing fees tendered. H-1B visas are still available in the following situations:

Extensions of H-1B status for foreign nationals currently employed in H-1B status by the petitioner

New employees who currently maintain H-1B status with another employer, OR who have previously been in H-1B status in the past six years and have not subsequently been absent from the U.S. for more than one year [note: if the prior H-1B employer was an exempt employer as described below, the new petition does require a number under the cap and can only be filed when H-1B visa numbers are available].

H-1B1 Petitions filed on behalf of citizens of Chile and Singapore (based on treaty obligations).

New Petitions filed by “Cap-Exempt” Petitioners: the following organizations are exempt from the “cap” and may obtain H-1B status for new employees at any time:

institutions of higher education

a nonprofit organization related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education

a nonprofit research organization or governmental research organization

(These exempt classes are often referred to informally as “educational H-1B” cases, though this label is somewhat misleading.)
Note carefully: this does not exempt all nonprofit organizations; only those affiliated with an institution of higher education