Another “H-1B Cap Season” ends in a lottery process due to the high number of H-1B Cap Petitions submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the fourth year in a row. USCIS released a press release confirming that as of the end of the day on Thursday, April 7th, they reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2016 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017). This means that the USCIS received more than 85,000 H-1B cap petitions within the first five business days of April.
USCIS will randomly select the H-1B petitions in order to fill the 65,000 petitions for the “regular” H-1B cap and the 20,000 petitions for the advanced degree cap. USCIS has stated that it will randomly select the petitions for the 20,000 petitions that were filed under the advanced degree cap. All of the H-1B advanced degree petitions that are not selected in the first lottery will be placed in the lottery with the “regular” cap petitions. Any unselected petitions will be returned to the petitioners. Prior to conducting the lottery, the USCIS will complete an intake process for all petitions received between April 1st and April 7th. The USCIS cannot, at this time, provide the date that it will conduct the lottery because of the high number of petitions that it received and for which it needs to complete the initial intake process.
We will provide updates as additional information is received form USCIS. If you have any questions, please contact your Maggio + Kattar attorney.