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UNITED STATES – USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for Fiscal Year 2018

, 24/04/2017

On 7 April 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received sufficient quota-subject H-1B filings for government fiscal year 2018 (1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018) 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 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began 3 April, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. This is a significant reduction from the 236,000 petitions received for fiscal year 2017.

On 11 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, for up to six months. 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 2018 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.

Action Items

Note that the H-1B caps for Fiscal Year 2018 have already been reached, although bear in mind that many H-1B petitions are exempt from the cap.