On April 10, 2014, USCIS announced that it received about 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 1, 2014, including petitions filed for the U.S. Master’s degree exemption. On the same day, USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, commonly known as the H-1B lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 regular cap and 20,000 cap under the U.S. Master’s degree exemption. For cap-subject H-1B petitions not selected for adjudication, USCIS will return the petition with filing fees.
Starting April 14, 2014, our office has been receiving Receipt Notices from USCIS for premium processing H-1B cases filed under the U.S. Master’s degree exemption. We have also been gradually receiving Receipt Notices for H-1B cases filed under U.S. Master’s degree exemption as well as those filed under the regular cap. USCIS announced that it would begin adjudicating premium processing H-1B cap cases no later than April 28, 2014. USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time for premium processing cases. The average processing time for an H-1B case filed without premium processing is two (2) months at the California and Vermont Service Centers.