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Clarification on CW-1 Extension of Stay Petitions

On May 20, USCIS announced that it had 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 was the final receipt date for CW-1 worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2016. We are clarifying that although extension of stay petitions for current CW-1 workers are counted toward the CW-1 cap, these petitions will be accepted under certain circumstances.

CW-1 Extension of Stay Petitions

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

If CW-1 workers were already counted toward the CW-1 cap for FY 2016, meaning that their previous employment start date was on or after October 1, 2015, then their employer can file a petition to change employers or extend CW-1 status in FY 2016, even though the FY 2016 CW-1 cap was reached on May 5, 2016. 

Additionally, we are currently accepting CW-1 petitions requesting an employment start date on or after October 1, 2016, which are counted toward the FY 2017 CW-1 cap.

We encourage CW-1 employers to file a petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker up to 6 months in advance of the proposed employment start date, and as early as possible within that timeframe. We will reject a petition if it is filed more than 6 months in advance.

Alternate Classifications

We encourage employers and employees to review the Working in the U.S. pages of our website for a list of all available classifications for temporary and permanent workers. Click the links to read a general description of each classification, eligibility criteria and other filing requirements.

Read more information about the CW-1 work program, or call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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