On April 7, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached its mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2017. Moreover, USCIS received more than 20,000 petitions under the U.S. advanced degree quota.
USCIS will conduct a separate lotteries for the advanced degree category and for the regular H-1B quota. The lottery is a computer generated process that randomly selects H-1B visa petitions. First, USCIS will utilize the lottery for the advanced degree category. All unselected petitions from the advanced degree category will become part of the general cap category and be part of the second lottery.
After both lotteries are complete, USCIS will reject and return all unselected cap petitions along with their filing fees.
USCIS will continue to accept H-1B petitions that are not part of the CAP. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed for:
• Extending the time for a H-1B worker
• Changing the terms of the employment for the H-1B worker
• Changing employers