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FAQ / H-1B Petition Mailing During Cap Season


Stakeholders Note: Many of these questions are affected by the 3-19-08 press release regarding the interim final regulation on H-1B visas. Under the interim final regulation, if USCIS receives a sufficient number of petitions to satisfy the cap at any time during the first five business days on which petitions for the upcoming fiscal year may be received, all cap-subject petitions received during the first five business days will be included in the random-selection lottery.

Stakeholders anticipate that there will be sufficient cap-subject H-1B petitions filed for the H-1B cap to be met on April 1, thus triggering the regulation that includes all petitions filed on April 1st though April 7th.

1. Will the California Service Center and Vermont Service Center will be accepting deliveries from courier services (e.g., DHL, FedEx, UPS, other approved couriers, etc.) throughout the day on April 1st though April 7th?
Answer: Yes. USCIS will accept deliveries through close of business from April 1-7, 2008, based on the recent press release. Close of business means 5:00 pm local time at the location of the Service Center. However, on the last day (April 7, 2008), USCIS will accept deliveries from couriers until 7:00 pm local time.

2. During what hours will California Service Center and Vermont Service Center be accepting deliveries from courier services (e.g., DHL, FedEx, UPS, other approved couriers, etc.) on April 1st through April 7th?
Answer: USCIS will accept deliveries from 6:00 am through 5:00 pm, local time. However, on the last day (April 7, 2008), USCIS will accept deliveries from couriers until 7:00 pm, local time.

3. How will petitions filed via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) be handled? Particularly, if a petition is delivered to the P.O. Box designated by the USCIS on April 1st through April 7th, will those petitions be treated as timely filed and be included in the random selection process?
Answer: USCIS does not consider the package received or timely filed until it is actually on-site at the Service Center. The service centers pick up correspondence delivered to the P.O. Box at one or more scheduled times during the day. Therefore, while customers may file applications by USPS at the P.O. Box, delivery to that P.O. Box does not ensure that the filing will be picked up by the USCIS the same day it is placed in the P.O. Box by the USPS, and thus, will not be considered timely filed.

4. Will the California Service Center and the Vermont Service Center accept as timely filed a cap-subject H-1B petition that is aboard a delivery truck and in line for delivery prior to the time that the Service Centers stop accepting deliveries.
Answer: If at 7:00 pm on April 7, 2008 there are still trucks attempting to deliver packages, the Service Centers will work out a process to get those packages into the system.



5. What are the accepted methods of delivery of petition packages to the Service Centers?
Answer: Due to security concerns packages are only accepted using the specific delivery methods noted below. Attempted delivery by any other method will result in rejection of the petition package.



The following delivery methods are acceptable:



1. United States Postal Service
2. Private Couriers that are bonded (eg. DHL, Federal Express, United Parcel Service.)



Common mistakes are packages that filed using the following methods:



1. Hand delivered to the Service Center
2. Sent via taxi cab to the Service Center
3. Sent via private courier that is not bonded


 




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