USCIS announcement that the H-1B selection process is complete
On April 11, 2019, USCIS announced that it had completed the computer-generated lottery to meet the statutorily mandated H-1B visas of 20,000 for master’s cap, and 65,000 for regular cap petitions. The total number of H-1B petitions received between April 1 and April 5 was 201,011, thus using the entire available cap quota for FY 2020. The number of petitions filed this year was slightly higher compared with the last two years.
USCIS received 190,098 cap subject H-1B petitions in 2018 and 199,000 in 2017.
As per the new H-1B regulation, USCIS conducted a first lottery with all H-1B petitions, and then a second lottery for those beneficiaries who hold advanced degrees from US Institutions who were not selected for this first lottery. This rule gives the advanced degree holders better odds of being selected. Since the number of H-1B petitions easily exceeded the H-1B cap again this year, the chances of selection in the lottery remain relatively low and pose astressful time for those employers and beneficiaries waiting for the lottery results.
Our office has begun receiving receipt notices for both premium and regular processed cases
Our office has started to receive receipt notices for our selected cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2020. By receiving the receipt notice, we know that a cap-subject H-1B case has officially been selected for this year’s H-1B lottery. Thus far, most selected cap-subject H-1B receipt notices we have received were sent under the premium processing program, although we have recently received a few receipt notices for cases that were sent under regular processing. We expect to receive most notices by mid-May this year based USCIS’ announcement that they will start reviewing selected premium processing cap-subject H-1B cases no later than May 20, 2019.