Upon approval, petitions for FY2017 will allow foreign nationals to work for petitioning employers as of 1st October 2016. USCIS will continue to accept new H-1B petitions after 1stApril 2016, until the visa’s cap has been reached.
However, anyone planning to apply for an H-1B visa is strongly advised to get their application in quick. It is widely expected that USCIS will receive the required number of H-1B visas within the first five business days of April, at which point USCIS will randomly select the H-1B visas to be processed, sufficient to meet the cap.
Congress has once again placed a 65,000 cap on H-1B visas for FY2017, with an additional 20,000 visas available for foreign nationals who have earned a US Master’s degree or higher.
Please note that not all H-1B petitions are subject to the cap. For example, H-1B extension applications and petitions on behalf of foreign nationals who have been counted against the H-1B cap within the last six years are exempt, as are petitions by institutions of higher education and non-profit research institutions.