On April 7, 2017, USCIS announced that the H-1B Cap for fiscal year 2018 had been reached. What this means is that USCIS received over 65,000 petitions for the congressionally mandated regular visa cap and over 20,000 petitions for the congressionally mandated advanced degree exemption cap.
What does this mean? As in prior years, USCIS will randomly select 20,000 petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption cap (H-1B Master’s Cap). All H-1B Master’s Cap petitions that don’t get selected will fall into the regular cap. USCIS will then randomly select 65,000 petitions under the Regular Cap. All petitions received through April 7, 2017 will be considered for this lottery process to select 85,000 petitions to fill fiscal year 2018’s H-1B Cap.
What happens next? After the 85,000 petitions have been selected to fill the fiscal year 2018’s H-1B Cap, USCIS will either issue a Receipt Notice or a Return Notice. A Receipt Notice will confirm selection, whereas a Return Notice will be accompanied with a returned petition and filing fees signaling non-selection for the H-1B Cap. After the completion of the lottery, USCIS will adjudicate these 85,000 petitions.
What about premium processing? On April 3, 2017, USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for up to six months. Because of this, no H-1B Cap petitions were filed with premium processing.
What about non-H-1B cap petitions? USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are exempt from the H-1B Cap, including H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, change of employer petitions, and concurrent H-1B employment petitions.
Any further questions? Don’t hesitate to contact SWLG, P.C. with any further questions or concerns you may have.
SWLG, P.C. will continue to provide updates to the H-1B cap as they become available.