U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed the H1B lottery to select enough petitions to meet the annual H1B Cap of 65,000 under the general category, and 20,000 under the U.S. advanced degree exemption category (popularly known as the “H1B Masters Cap”).
H1B 2017 Lottery Highlights
- USCIS received 199,000 H1B petitions during the 2017 H1B Cap filing period that began April 3, 2017.
- USCIS conducted the H1B 2017 lottery on April 11, 2017.
- The H1B lottery was conducted for petitions filed under the H1B advanced degree exemption first. All unselected H1B Masters Cap petitions then became part of the H1B lottery for the 65,000 H1B cap.
- USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months
For cap-subject petitions not selected in the lottery, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.
While USCIS has announced the completion of the 2017 H1B lottery process, it has not indicated the date by when Receipt Notices would be issued to petitioners whose H1B cap petitions were successful in the lottery. We continue to monitor developments related to the 2017 H1B Cap filings and will keep our readers updated.
It is also important to note that while the 2017 H1B Cap has reached, USCIS will continue to accept petitions that are H1B Cap exempt.
With the H1B cap exhausted, employers (except cap-exempt organizations) desirous of filing new H1B petitions will now have to wait until April 1, 2018 to be able to file again for a start date no sooner than October 1, 2018.
To learn more on how you must evaluate and utilize alternatives to the H-1B category visit What Would You Do If the H-1B Cap is Reached?