United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 6, 2018 that the annual H-1B quota for the regular 65,000 Bachelor’s Degree Cap and the 20,000 U.S. Master’s Degree Cap has been met for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. As per the regulations, all H-1B applications received within the first five days of the Cap have to be counted towards the lottery. USCIS has not yet announced the exact number of H-1B applications received. Once all of the H-1B applications are counted, USCIS will share this information in the coming weeks. Additionally, USCIS will also confirm once it has completed its lottery (computerized random selection) of H-1B applications in the coming weeks. USCIS will then reject and return the filing fees for all unselected H-1B cap cases, with the exception of duplicate filings.
As of March 20, 2018, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for up to 6 months for all H-1B FY 2019 Cap applications. Thus, all cases selected under the lottery will be processed under the regular processing timeline. However, USCIS will continue to accept premium processing applications for H-1B cases which are not subject to the cap, such as requests for amendments, extensions, or transfers.
Please stay tuned for further updates from USCIS.