USCIS announced April 7 that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year FY2018. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2018 cap or the advanced degree exemption. The announcement did not provide details about the total number of H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons to be counted against the regular H-1B cap or against the 20,000 advanced degree exemption. We anticipate that USCIS will have received a number that is close to or exceeds the 236,000 petitions filed in FY 2017.
A computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) will be used for all FY2018 cap-subject petitions received through April 7, 2017. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. USCIS has yet to announce the exact day of the lottery.
Petitions that are otherwise exempt from cap, such as H-1B extensions, H-1B ports to new employers or H-1Bs filed for exempt employers, will continue to be accepted and processed by the agency. However, as previously reported premium processing service for all H-1B petitions, including those exempt from cap, remains suspended for up to six months as of April 3, 2017. GT will continue to monitor any announcements made by USCIS.