On April 7, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had already received enough H1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 H1B visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. It also announced that it had received a sufficient number of H1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, more commonly known as the “master's cap” [see blog].
On April 17, 2017, the USCIS announced that it had completed its H1B cap random selection process for FY 2018 [link]. On April 11, 2017, the USCIS used its computer-generated random selection process, commonly known as the H1B lottery, to select petitions to meet both the 65,000 H1B cap for general-category petitions and the 20,000 H1B cap under the advanced degree exemption. The USCIS first conducted the H1B lottery for advanced degree exemption petitions. All unselected advanced degree exemption petitions were then placed in the general-category pool.
The USCIS will reject and return any H1B petitions with fee that were not selected, except petitions that were found to be duplicate filings.
The USCIS announced that it received 199,000 H1B petitions during the filing period. This represents a significant decline from FY 2017 and FY 2016, which each saw in excess of 230,000 H1B petitions filed during the same filing period.1
The USCIS reminded stakeholders that as of March 3, 2017, it has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H1B petitions for up to six months. This suspension remains in effect. Please see our full article to learn about the suspension and its effects [see article].
Please see our category on H1B articles to learn more about various H1B issues [see category].