On April 11, 2018, USCIS announced that it used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap. USCIS stated that it will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees unless the petition is a prohibited multiple filing.
On April 6, 2018, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2019 including a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.
USCIS also stated that it will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2019 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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