The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 17, 2017, that it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2018. USCIS also received an adequate number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the Master’s Cap.
USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which commenced on April 3 and ended on April 7, 2017, including petitions filed for the Master’s Cap exemption.
On April 11, 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 Master’s Cap exemption. USCIS conducted the selection process for the Master’s Cap exemption first. All unselected Master’s Cap petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.
USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.