USCIS Reaches CW-1 Cap for Fiscal Year 2016

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the numerical limit (the “cap”) of 12,999 workers who may be issued CW-1 visas or otherwise provided with CW-1 status for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. May 5, 2016 was the final receipt date for CW-1 worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2016.

What Happens After the Cap is Reached

USCIS will reject CW-1 petitions that were received after May 5, 2016 and that request an employment start date before October 1, 2016. This includes CW-1 petitions for extensions of stay that are subject to the CW-1 cap. The filing fees will be returned with any rejected CW-1 petition.

If an extension petition is rejected, then the beneficiaries listed on that petition are not permitted to work beyond the validity period of the previously approved petition. Therefore, affected beneficiaries, including any CW-2 derivative family members of a CW-1 nonimmigrant, must depart the CNMI within 10 days after the CW-1 validity period has expired, unless they have some other authorization to remain under U.S. immigration law.

Petitions that are Subject to the CW-1 Cap

The following Form I-129CW petitions are generally subject to the CW-1 cap:

* New employment petitions, and
* Extension of stay petitions.

All CW-1 workers are subject to the cap unless the worker has already been counted towards the cap in the same fiscal year. The U.S. government’s fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

The CW-1 cap does not apply to CW-2 dependents.

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