USCIS Completes H1B Lottery Process for FY-2019

Wendy Barlow's picture

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it completed the H1B lottery for H1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2019 H1B cap on April 11, 2018, through a “computer-generated random selection process…” [PDF version]. The H1B lottery was conducted to select a sufficient number of petitions to reach the general cap of 65,000 H1B visas and the special “master's cap” of 20,000 H1B visas.

During the H1B filing period, which began on April 2, 2019, the USCIS received 190,098 H1B petitions. This includes petitions that were filed for the advanced degree exception. The USCIS received enough H1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2019 on April 6, 2019 [see blog]. The USCIS stated then that it would reject and return all H1B petitions not selected, with filing fees, unless such petitions were subject to the multiple filing bar [see article].

Despite having completed the H1B lottery, USCIS will continue to accept and process H1B petitions that are not subject to the fiscal year 2019 H1B cap. This includes “[p]etitions filed for current H1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number…” The USCIS will continue to accept and process extension of stay petitions, amended petitions to change the terms of an H1B workers' employment, H1B portability petitions [see article], and petitions to allow current H1B workers to engage in concurrent employment for a second employer.

Please note that premium processing remains suspended for H1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2019 H1B cap [see article].

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USCIS Completes H1B Lottery Process for FY-2019