Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the annual cap of 65,000, along with the additional 20,000 H-1B petitions reserved for the advanced U.S. degree cap.
For the filing period beginning April 1, 2016, USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions, including those filed for the master’s cap. USCIS is using a computer-generated lottery process to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the master’s cap exemption. They will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees. We expect that this process will take several months.
USCIS conducts the selection process for the master’s cap first. All unselected master’s cap petitions then became part of the lottery for the 65,000 limit.
USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 16, 2016. Receipt notices for premium processing cases have already begun to be issued.
Petitions that are exempt from the cap will still be accepted and processed. This includes H-1B extensions and amendments, as well as petitions for change of employer.
We will stay apprised of developments related to the annual H-1B cap and will issue updates as they become available. Please contact Graham Adair with any questions.