On 6th April 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received sufficient quota-subject H-1B filings for government fiscal year 2019 (1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019) to meet both the general H-1B quota (65,000) for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and the additional quota (20,000) for individuals holding a US master’s or other advanced degree.
USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. This is slightly below the 199,000 cap-subject petitions received last year, and a significant reduction from the 236,000 petitions received for fiscal year 2017.
On 11th April USCIS 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. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
As we noted here, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions.
USCIS 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.
Note that the H-1B caps for Fiscal Year 2019 have already been reached, although bear in mind that many H-1B petitions are exempt from the cap.
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